An Alcorn State University student who graduated from Leflore County High School in 2016 was shot and killed at an off-campus event Monday night.

James Carr III


James Carr III, a 22-year-old freshman from Itta Bena, was one of two people killed in the shooting, and two other students were wounded.  The other student who died was identified by the university as 20-year-old junior Tahir Fitzhugh of Brookhaven, Pennsylvania.

A suspect in the shooting, who is not an Alcorn student, was  arrested on a warrant for aggravated assault in Adams County and was in custody Tuesday in Claiborne County, according to the Clarion Ledger.

Claiborne County Sheriff’s Investigator Troy Kimble said that the suspect’s name had not been released since the investigation was continuing, the Clarion Ledger reported.

Friends and family members of Carr were devastated to hear of his passing.

“I’m just lost for words and still in shock that he’s really gone,” said Hanesia Friend, Carr’s cousin. “We had a strong bond, and I don’t know how I will feel anymore behind this loss.”

Damarius Ray, a Leflore County High classmate of Carr’s, said he had known him all his life, and they were planning a trip to Orlando, Florida, for this spring.

“He was a very great friend to me,” Ray said. “He got along with everyone and was very special.”

Jayla Dixon, another high school classmate, spoke about Carr’s character and their eight-year friendship.

“(He was a) good kid, never was in any trouble,” she said. “He meant everything to us, his class of 2016. We’re gonna really miss him.”

In a press release, Alcorn State  said it was notified overnight by local authorities that four of its students were involved in a shooting at a non-university event venue 13 miles north of campus in Claiborne County. The location, called “The Ark,” is about 7 miles south of Port Gibson.

Three of the students were transported to the Claiborne County Medical Center in Port Gibson, where Carr and Fitzhugh were pronounced dead. The third student was taken to the  University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson and later listed in stable condition.

The fourth student’s injuries did not require hospitalization.

“We are deeply saddened to report that two students have passed as a result of critical injuries suffered in the shooting,” Alcorn State said in the press release.

Although campus safety was not compromised, out of caution Alcorn Campus Police instituted a lockdown on all campuses. The lockdown was lifted, and the university is open for normal business operations.

“Alcorn State University extends our heartfelt prayers to the families and loved ones of the students we lost and humbly ask for the university community’s thoughts and prayers for the full recovery of those injured and impacted as a result of this unfortunate event,” the university stated.

Contact Kerrigan Herret at 581-7233 or


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