Greenwood police are still looking for the assault rifle-wielding assailant who shot up a post-funeral family gathering Saturday night, killing two and wounding eight others.
Meanwhile, authorities have made arrests in a separate shooting that occurred the next day that wounded two other individuals.
On Saturday, police began to receive numerous phone calls beginning at 10:53 p.m. reporting that shots had been fired in the 400 block of West Martin Luther King Drive, Greenwood Deputy Police Chief Marvin Hammond said.
An outdoor family gathering was being held there following a funeral for Elizabeth Hunt Pitts earlier in the day. Relatives who had visited from Chicago were in attendance.
At the scene, officers found three men and seven women, some from Greenwood and some from Chicago, who had been shot. Police were unable to provide an age range of the victims, but Chief Jody Bradley said that all those injured were adults.
Jonathan Pitts, 42, died at the scene, while his sister, Katrina Pitts, died later at Greenwood Leflore Hospital, according to Leflore County Coroner Debra Sanders.
The siblings were both from Chicago, and Elizabeth Pitts was their grandmother.
All of the wounded were taken to the hospital. Bradley could not provide an update Monday on the condition of the other eight victims, though he did say that to his knowledge the injuries were “non-life-threatening” and that some victims had been released from the hospital.
Eyewitnesses told police that a firearm used in the mass shooting was a semiautomatic rifle. “They said it was an AR-15,” Hammond said.
Officers picked up six or seven shell casings from an AR-15, as well as shell casings from other guns, such as a .45-caliber weapon, Hammond said.
Based on accounts from victims, however, police believe only one person — a man — carried out the shooting, Hammond said.
The deputy chief added that police will investigate whether the other shell casings found at the crime scene had any connection with the shooting.
Hammond did not say what motive may have prompted the gunfire. “As soon as we find a suspect, we’ll get a motive,” he said.
Anyone with information about the incident may call CrimeStoppers, an anonymous tip line, at 1-800-222-8477.
In the Sunday shooting, authorities received a report of shots fired near The Landing Convenience Store & Fueling Center on U.S. 82 East around 7 p.m., according to Hammond.
Officers found two people who had been shot — a male and a female. The victims, who are both residents of Leflore County but whose ages could not be provided, were shot in a parking lot near the convenience store, Hammond said.
Both victims were transported to Greenwood Leflore Hospital. The female victim was released, Bradley said, and the male victim was flown to the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson. Police did not know the status of his condition Monday.
Bradley added that two suspects were arrested “immediately” after the shooting, with the help of the Leflore County Sheriff’s Department.
No other details were given about the suspects. As of Monday evening, no formal charges had been pressed.
In a Facebook post Sunday night, Channing Hodges, the owner of The Landing, said none of his employees or customers were involved in the shooting.
The two deaths from Saturday bring to 22 the number of homicides that have occurred in Greenwood or other parts of Leflore County this year. All but one of the homicides have been firearm-related.
With still more than two months to go in the year, the deadly pace is already twice last year’s total of 11 homicides. Since June 10 of this year, 53 people have been shot in 29 incidents throughout Leflore County.
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