Man shot in head while riding in vehicle with his mother and sister in Crystal Springs

Published: Sep. 26, 2022 at 4:07 PM CDT
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CRYSTAL SPRINGS, Miss. (WLBT) - A Crystal Springs man is dead, and two are in custody -- the result of a shooting Friday night after a high school homecoming game.

Latravious “Duke” Williams, 20, had been riding with his sister in the back seat of a car driven by their mother at about 9:45 p.m. following a Crystal Springs High School football game.

Copiah County Deputy Coroner Judy Evans said that according to the evidence, the family had traveled just 200-300 yards away from the high school on E. Marion Avenue when one of 14 rounds of gunfire penetrated a window and struck Williams in the head.

“I never did stop,” Williams’ mother, Keisha Sparks, said of her reaction at the time. “I had to keep going. I drove my own son to the hospital,” she said. Soon after arriving at Copiah County Medical Center, Williams was transported to University Medical Center and placed on life support.

He died at about 3 p.m. Saturday. Police arrested two men in connection to the shooting, according to Crystal Springs Police Chief Tony Hemphill. Details about the suspects are not yet available, and a motive for the fatal shooting has not emerged.

After Williams was shot Friday, police responded to calls of a shooting on Purvis Drive, a mile and a half away. A man there was found with a non-life-threatening gunshot wound to his leg. Crystal Springs Police Chief Tony Hemphill said he is looking into the possibility that the two shootings are connected.

Williams had a birthday earlier this month and had been scheduled to graduate in December from a diesel mechanics program at a local technical college. He had been a graduate of Crystal Springs High School, and his younger sister, who was with him when he was shot Friday, still attends that school, according to Vita Powell, their cousin.

“It’s just a sad situation,” said Evans.

On Saturday, officers in Crystal Springs responded to calls of shots fired at Moore and McPherson Street, but no victim was located.

The Copiah County town, which has fewer than 5,000 residents, has seen a steep rise in gun-related violence lately.

“My guys are overworked, but we’re doing the best we can with what we can,” Hemphill said. “We’re kind of an extension of Jackson. Nobody wants to say it, but that’s the way it is.”

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