One man dead, one arrested after argument escalates

Gerald Lander (Photo source: Jackson Co. Sheriff's Dept.)
Gerald Lander (Photo source: Jackson Co. Sheriff's Dept.)

By Sylvia Hall - bio | email

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX)- A Jackson County man is charged with murder after an argument over car keys turned tragic, according to Sheriff's investigators. Gerald Derrick Lander, 38, was arrested late Monday night and charged with killing Randy Wilson, 52, at Lander's home on Forts Lake Road in the Franklin Creek community. Wilson was Lander's uncle.

"Officer Robby O'Bryant and Officer Dustin Gregg responded to the call, the 911 call, and found one victim, Randy Wilson, 52 years of age shot in the lower abdomen with a 22 caliber pistol," Sheriff Mike Byrd said of the incident. "The officers administered CPR until the ambulance arrived and he was pronounced dead at the scene."

Sheriff's investigators believe the argument started over a set of car keys. They said Lander thought Wilson was too drunk to drive, and tried to take his keys from him. Wilson apparently didn't agree.

"It's not uncommon that folks get into altercations and their temper gets the best of them. And this is the result," Byrd said. "We've had stabbings that have occurred from this, and physical altercations that didn't involve a weapon. But this one happened to involve a weapon, which was a firearm."

Neighbors were shocked to hear the news.  Two of them told WLOX they think the area around Lander's home is a quiet, friendly community.

"Nobody knew it was coming because we just smile and wave at each other as we come and go," said Edward Taylor, who lives nearby.

When asked if he's surprised, another neighbor J.C. Maples said, "Yeah, really. You never see nothing like that up here. But, what do you do?"

Maples knew both Lander and Wilson.  He said Wilson was no stranger to arguments.

"Randy was bad about that," Maples said.

But he said he's surprised Lander was involved.

"I wasn't even down there, but Derrick ain't like that," Maples said.  "I know him and his daddy and mama.  And I knew Randy.  It's a wonder somebody didn't kill Randy a long time ago."

Lander made his initial court appearance Tuesday morning before Judge Larry Wilson.  His bail was set at $50,000. He was released from the Jackson County Adult Detention Center on bond Tuesday night.

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