Hinds Co. deputy looking for answers in nephew’s killing: ‘We want justice’

Jerrivonte Harris, 20
Jerrivonte Harris, 20(Jerry Kelly)
Published: Jul. 20, 2022 at 2:25 PM CDT
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LINCOLN CO., Miss. (WLBT) - A law enforcement officer who investigates crimes in Hinds County is seeking answers into the death of his nephew in Lincoln County.

Officer Jerry Kelly says his 20-year-old nephew, Jerrivonte Harris, also known as “Spud”, was shot and killed in Brookhaven on Tuesday, July 12.

Brookhaven Police Chief Kenneth Collins said Harris was inside a home on Old Wesson Road when he was killed.

When officers arrived, the chief said Jerrivonte Harris had already died from multiple gunshot wounds.

Police say several people were inside the home when the crime occurred, but they’re tight-lipped about what led up to the deadly shooting.

Meanwhile, the uncle of the victim, who usually investigates crimes, never imagined this type of heartache would hit home.

“Going to a crime scene and investigating an incident is my job but, there’s no instruction manual on how to do this,” Kelly said.

The 17-year law enforcement officer also happens to be the lead investigator of the Brookhaven NAACP branch. He fights for families’ civil rights and social justice - now he’s relying on someone else to fight for him.

”We want justice for Spud,” he said. “We want answers, but we also hope that people come forward about other crimes in Brookhaven.”

Meanwhile, police in Brookhaven are urging people in the Old Wesson Road home and the community to break their silence.

“People witnessed this crime and won’t come forward,” the chief said. “They talk to the streets, but not the police. We need people who saw it to make a statement to get these people in jail.”

The chief believes eyewitnesses are afraid to speak up.

“It’s not snitching when you stand up and keep your kids safe and everyone else’s kids safe,” the chief added. “They won’t help the police when it’s somebody else’s child, but when it hits home, then they want the police to do something,” he quipped.

Jerry Kelly says he doesn’t think people are driven by fear, but by a lack of trust in law enforcement.

“There’s been a lot of crime in Brookhaven and many of the cases are unsolved,” Kelly said. “BPD has yet to earn the public’s trust. People need to know that if they share information about a crime, justice will be served.”

In addition to his sworn duty to protect and serve others, Jerry Kelly has another lifelong commitment. He serves as pastor of City of Grace Church in Brookhaven and says his faith is all he can believe in right now.

“It’s only the grace of God that’s keeping me because no words can really describe what this is like for me and my family,” he said.

Kelly describes his nephew as someone filled with joy who loved his family, basketball, and music.

He also ran track at Brookhaven High School and is survived by his young brother, parents, and other family members.

The family is holding a balloon release Thursday, July 21 at 6:30 p.m. at the City of Grace Church, where Kelly pastors.

The church is located at 216 Martin Luther King Junior Drive.

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