Tate County Sheriff Brad Lance said police have established some connection between the shooter and three of the six people dead in Tate County after a series of shootings at three different crime scenes on Friday.
According to Lance, the shootings all took place in the Arkabutla community, and a suspect is in custody. He has been identified as 52-year-old Richard Dale Crum, and he has been charged with first-degree murder.
“He is at the jail and we’re trying to piece together all the connections,” Lance said. “We were initially not aware of any link, but there is a link between the suspect and three of the victims.”
One of those victims was a woman with which the suspect had a prior relationship, the Sheriff said.
— Governor Tate Reeves (@tatereeves) February 17, 2023
Lance said it began when two men were sitting in their car outside a store on Arkabutla Road. The suspect allegedly walked up to the vehicle and opened fire, killing the driver. The other person in the car was able to get out and escape on foot.
Shortly after that, the woman the suspect has been connected to was killed inside a home on Bend Road, and her husband was also injured. Police say it is unclear if he was shot.
After the suspect was taken into custody, two additional people were found dead inside of a home on Arkabutla Dam Road and two were found outside.
Deputies spotted the suspect inside a vehicle on Arkabutla Dam Road. He was taken into custody without incident.
Police have not yet released the suspect’s identity.
This is the most fatal mass shooting in Mississippi since the most deadly in Bogue Chitto in 2017, which cost eight lives. The shooter in that case was convicted and is serving four life sentences as he awaits execution on his four death sentences.
Therese Apel contributed to this story.