At least eight people shot during Mudbug Festival, court testimony reveals
JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - More details are emerging about the deadly Mississippi Mudbug Festival shooting that left one person dead in late April.
At a probable cause hearing Tuesday, Hinds County Circuit Judge Faye Peterson revoked bond for Calvin Berry, one of the teens accused of being involved in a gunfight at the event.
Among new details, an officer with the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation said that eight people were injured after a gunfight broke out in the parking lot.
Officers were able to quell the shooting when one of the vehicles involved attempted to back up after dead-ending at the Trade Mart’s loading dock.
“During the time that the gunfire began, they had to actually take cover because they didn’t know exactly where the gunfire was coming from,” Sheriff Tyree Jones said. “They just heard several rounds being fired, and the rounds were being fired in direction of the Midway... Once they were able to get somewhat of a visual on exactly what was transpiring, they identified a dark-color, four-door sedan that was occupied by at least two individuals.”
Berry and another teen, Leedrick Trim, were detained on sight. Another teen believed to be involved in the shooting, Carmello Brumfield, was killed by an officer.
Two weapons were recovered from the vehicle, a pistol “with the longest standard magazine,” and a “short version of a semi-automatic rifle... what we describe as a Draco,” Jones said.
Berry and Trim were eventually arrested and charged with a litany of felony charges, including murder, drive-by shooting, aggravated assault, and carrying a concealed weapon.
The two are being charged with murder because someone was killed by a police officer during the incident. Because the two were involved in the shooting, they are facing murder charges under state law.
At the time of the shooting, Berry was out on bond on charges stemming from September 2020.
A probable cause hearing was held to determine whether Berry’s bond on his previous charges should have been revoked.
Andrew Williams, Berry’s attorney, said that Berry was never identified as one of the shooters.
“The testimony from the stand is that none of the victims have identified Mr. Berry. This agent has not identified Mr. Berry from any video. This agent did not speak to Mr. Berry and cannot testify to anything that Mr. Berry may or may not have said, and he did not prepare any... affidavits charging Mr. Berry with anything. What we have is that he said another officer told him that that officer identified Mr. Berry from that video,” he said. “Understanding some hearsay is allowed... that’s quite the stretch to reach the level of probable cause allowed by law.
Feazell testified that he had spoken to seven of the eight victims that were shot at the festival that night. He said none of the victims identified Berry as the shooter. Feazell also said that Berry was the passenger in the vehicle involved in the shooting, although he told the court that he was told that by another officer.
Williams asked Feazell if he was aware of allegations that Berry was defending himself and was fired upon first.
Peterson sustained an objection from the state, saying that some of Williams’ questioning was not appropriate for a probable cause hearing.
“Right now, we’re here on the issue of whether his bond should be revoked. I can tell you right now, one of my main concerns is whether or not this defendant had a firearm on him on this occasion on this night,” the judge said. “Whether or not there was an exchange of gunfire really doesn’t matter if there’s proof that he had a firearm on him and... that he had to use it that night to defend himself or not. He should not have had it.”
Prior to the Mudbug incident, Berry had been charged with several felonies, including carjacking, armed robbery, and attempted armed robbery.
He was released on bond in September 2021 on the condition that he lived with a relative in Rankin County, be enrolled in school, and regularly report to a support specialist at the Henley-Young Patton Juvenile Justice Center.
Jones said under state statute, juveniles cannot possess guns on their person, but “it is not against the law to have a weapon in the vehicle. So, your vehicle is always considered an extension of your home. OK. So, it’s not unlawful for juveniles to have possession of a gun in a vehicle.”
“What does happen is once... that weapon is unlawfully used, then they become responsible for it. Once they step out of a vehicle into a public area with that weapon, then they are responsible for it,” the sheriff said. “If shots are fired from inside of a vehicle and weapons are recovered, and you have deputies that actually witness gunfire from this vehicle, then they assume responsibility of not only possessing that weapon but using that weapon as well.”
“Firing shots toward the Midway area of the fairgrounds, I wouldn’t necessarily say that there was someone defending themselves, based on the evidence that was present at the scene.”
After hearing arguments, Peterson said there was probable cause to revoke Berry’s bond. “The primary concern of this court is whether or not this defendant would be considered a suspect in a matter, which carries a sentence of greater than five years,” she said.
“In this instance, the state has produced some credible information of an ongoing investigation in which the defendant has been identified as a person who had on his person a firearm, that the firearm was discharged, and (that) he was with a group of individuals who were also involved in some very reckless and very dangerous activity that resulted in several innocent bystanders getting struck and one person... having been killed.”
Berry will continue to be held at Henley-Young, but is being charged as an adult.
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