October 14, 2022

Sheriff: Lake High football player killed, later shooting at coach’s house appear connected

Therese Apel

Travis Jones

A Lake High football player was killed when he was shot while driving Thursday afternoon.

Later on that night, a shot was fired by a passing car at a gathering at the coach’s house.

Scott County Coroner Van Thames said Travis Jones, 18, was in his vehicle on Johnson Town Road in Lake when he was shot.

He was alone in his vehicle, authorities said.

“Right now we don’t know if he was the target, if they intended on shooting at him or not,” said Sheriff Mike Lee. “From everything we know, he was a really good kid, never been in trouble. If someone did go after him, its probably going to end up being over something so petty.”

Lee said there were several witnesses there at the time. Deputies will continue to work around the clock to interview witnesses, gather suspects, and prepare warrants.

Later that evening, when players gathered at a coach’s home to mourn and comfort one another, a car drove by and fired a shot at some of the players and some adults that were standing outside the home.

Lee said nobody was hit, but there definitely seemed to be a message.

“I do believe the incidents are connected,” Lee said.

The shootings follow patterns being used by hybrid and clique gangs around the state. Lee said his community is seeing the same uptick in gang activity the rest of Mississippi is.

“It’s mere speculation but I think as we’re gathering suspect info, these are going to be groups kids running together calling themselves a gang,” Lee said.”We consider them gangs.”

In recent years, hybrid and clique gangs have become much more powerful, though they have been widely dismissed until recently by many facets of Mississippi Law Enforcement. Experts say they are actually more dangerous than some of the national street and prison gangs because there is no heirachy and no code, and possibly as bad, no loyalty.

Jones started on the Lake defense and had 20 tackles on the season. The Friday night football game against Philadelphia has been canceled.

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