The supposed reason for an October mass shooting at a post-funeral gathering that killed two and injured eight others may have been a case of a hitjob gone wrong.
That’s according to what Megan McKinnon, an investigator with the Greenwood Police Department, said she was told by Tyrell Stigler, the 24-year-old Greenwood man who authorities believe is responsible for six murders in the area that began in 2018 and concluded with the mass shooting two months ago.
Details about Stigler’s alleged confession to the mass shooting on the night of Oct. 24 at a home on the 400 block of West Martin Luther King Drive, which led to the deaths of brother and sister Jonathan and Katrina Pitts, as well as other murders he has been charged with were revealed by authorities during a preliminary hearing held for Stigler Tuesday at the Leflore County Courthouse.
Meanwhile, Stigler’s attorney, Arthur Calderon of Cleveland, highlighted flaws in the authorities’ investigations into each of Stigler’s murder charges. Calderon also argued that there was never any probable cause to arrest Stigler in the first place and said that his client’s case should be dismissed and that Stigler be released.
Leflore County Court Judge Kevin Adams, however, ultimately sided with the arguments made by authorities and Leflore County prosecuting attorney Kelvin Pulley, ordering that all of Stigler’s charges be turned over to a grand jury for a possible indictment since “there’s clear, sufficient probable cause to believe that your client committed these acts,” Adams told Calderon.
Adams also ordered that Stigler remain in detention and bail not be set until Stigler’s attempted murder charge in connection with a shooting incident at Williams Landing apartment complex from November of last year is resolved.
According to McKinnon, Stigler, once arrested days following the October mass shooting, told authorities that he was hired to carry out a shooting. McKinnon did not provide the name of the person who allegedly hired Stigler to carry out the hit when asked by Pulley, saying that’s still under investigation.
“He said he actually hit the wrong house. He was hired to hit another house,” McKinnon said she was told by Stigler. Apparently, the house Stigler was supposed to target the night of Oct. 24 was just a street over, McKinnon said she was told. A group of people at Stigler’s assigned target usually hung out in front of the house.
When Stigler came across the house at the 400 block of West Martin Luther King Drive and saw members of the Pitts family socializing following a funeral for one of their relatives, Stigler wrongly assumed that house was his target.
Police, however, have no evidence that Stigler was a hired hitman other than Stigler’s confession, McKinnon said.
Authorities were able to identify Stigler as the suspect in the mass shooting based on camera footage from a nearby building that pointed toward the area of the shooting. The footage showed an SUV pulling up near the crime scene and an unidentified male suspect exiting the vehicle and firing shots from his weapon before speeding off in the SUV, McKinnon said.
Using footage from cameras located at other businesses as well as the city’s installed cameras, police backtracked the movement of the SUV until camera footage at a Double Quick gas station — McKinnon did not say which location — seemed to show Stigler with his recognizable red dreadlocks.
Stigler allegedly confessed to his other murder charges, which include the May 7, 2018, death of his younger brother, Jakarrius Thomas, in the Buckeye area, and three murders that occurred earlier this year in September — the deaths of Larry Montgomery and William McGee Jr. on Sept. 17 and the death of Cordarell Stanley on Sept. 27.
There will be more details to come on Stigler’s preliminary hearing.
• Contact Gerard Edic at 581-7239 or firstname.lastname@example.org.