One arrest, more to come in Pascagoula drive-by

By Sylvia Hall - bio | email

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Eyewitness Rosa Diaz said it started with a Friday night fight in the parking lot of Sunchase Apartments on Hospital Road in Pascagoula.

"When the guys came the first time, came into Sunchase and wanted to fight with all the guys, there was about 10 of them," explained Diaz. "They started throwing beer bottles at us."

Just when she thought it was over, Diaz said the incident escalated. Diaz said at least two of them came back, in a silver vehicle, believed to be a Nissan Versa.

Police said when the vehicle drove past a group of residents standing in the apartment complex's parking lot around 11 pm, they fired one gunshot into the crowd.

Police arrested 18-year-old Tykarus Raymon Smith Saturday in connection with the incident.  He's charged with one count of drive by shooting and three counts of aggravated assault.

They said Smith has three aggravated assault charges because small pellets from a single bullet spread in mid-air and injured three people.

One of them, who neighbors said is an expectant mother, got the brunt of the bullet's tiny shells that spread in mid-air before they hit.

"From her face to her waist," described Diaz. "It was one gunshot, but it had a lot of pellets that came out of it."

The pellets spread so far two men were also injured. One was released from Singing River Hospital Friday night, the other declined medical treatment. The woman is expected to return home from the hospital soon.

"I was standing right next to her," Diaz said. "And it could have been me. You know?"

Diaz was spared a bullet but she was shot full of fear.

"It's a big surprise," Diaz said. "I mean I've never heard a gunshot in my life. So I know we was all in shock and scared."

Freddie Triplett said he watched Friday night's unrest from a distance. He said the incident surprised him because he's always considered the area to be quiet and safe.

"What it all comes down to it, being in the wrong place and the wrong time. And that's what happened last night," Triplett said. "Just think about it twice on wanting to be out here."

Diaz said she's not packing her bags, but the shooting definitely changed her view of the area.

"I thought it was quiet and good until last night," she said. "I mean this is the first time, so I can't judge it, you know. And it could happen anywhere."

Smith is in the Pascagoula City Jail awaiting his initial court appearance before Judge Michael Fondren.

Pascagoula Police said Saturday night the search for suspects isn't over, and they expect more arrests to be made in connection with the shooting.

Anyone with information in this case should contact the Pascagoula Police Department.  The number is 228-762-2211.

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