JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Tracey Hatten, 47, was a beloved truck driver with a big smile, and he goes by the nickname “Dump.” He’s known for his love of cooking, his green thumb, and his killer dance moves.
“You know when he danced, he’d just act funny. Everybody just loved him because he kept us laughing," said his sister, Patricia Sidney.
Outside Hatten’s home, the flowers are in full bloom -- that’s what he does, they said. He makes the flowers bloom. He cooks and grills and he loves his 17-year-old daughter who has been a daddy’s girl since she was born 3 months early and just over two pounds.
“Dump” went to work each day, and when he came home, he had a ritual that helped him wind down each day.
“The chair on the front porch is where he would just relax when he got off work," said Sidney.
That chair is where Hatten was sitting when gunfire erupted from across the street. Hatten started trying to get his family inside the house. A neighbor had opened fire, and police said the incident had to do with an earlier fight. But it was a fight that had nothing to do with Dump.
Eddie Jean Smith threw down the computer she was working on and ran outside to see who was shooting. That’s when she saw the man she’s loved for 21 years lying on the ground, critically injured.
Hatten was rushed to the the hospital in critical condition. He died in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
“All I can remember him saying, ‘I don’t do nothing to no one, I had nothing to do with this, what is going on?’” Smith said. "And that’s when he told my brother, ‘I’ve been shot.’”
Jackson Police Department said Demarcus Guyton, 19, was arrested and charged with murder.
“I’m weak. All I know is Tracey. I’ve been with this man for 21 years," she said. "I can’t get that back. Nobody can give me that back. And I want justice.”
They’d had plans to get old together, Smith said. Hatten used to always tell his daughter that when he was elderly, he wanted the fastest scooter they made so he could hurry to the beer store. Smith said she hadn’t eaten or slept ever since her father was shot.
“I ain’t lost my faith," Smith said. "The more the doctors call, the more I pray and I keep my faith.”
Greenview Drive is a street that has been revitalized by Habitat for Humanity.
Hatten’s family said several of the neighbors have called the police and made complaints on the neighbors involved in Hatten’s shooting over a period of years, in part because they’re known for discharging weapons into the air.