Triple murder victims "shot to death"

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The victims of a triple murder in Gulfport were shot to death.

Coroner Gary Hargrove confirmed the cause of death late Thursday afternoon. But many questions remain about the murders and the investigation.

The bodies of 48-year-old Gloria Morgan, her son, 28-year-old Clarence Payton and 63-year-old Charles Durr were found in a cottage at Poolside Mobile Home Village on Tuesday afternoon.

Coroner Hargrove would only say the three victims were shot to death; he declined to say how many shots were fired or what kind of weapon was used.

Investigators are following leads, but they're releasing very few details.

The crime scene tape is long gone, but the unanswered questions linger: Who killed three people in this Mississippi Cottage? And what triggered the violence?

"I was kind of shocked because I really never have heard nothing about the trailer park, nothing bad about it. So that was kind of shocking. I work on a lot of people's cars over here in the trailer park and I was surprised to hear that though," said Wallace Peters.

Peters owns an auto electric repair shop just around the corner from Poolside Mobile Home Village. He suspects drugs may be involved.

"I think it was just probably a bad deal went by. So I don't think the neighborhood is going to be that bad. People are just doing crazy things 'cause they can't find jobs," said Peters.

The modest mobile home park borders 19th Avenue; a mix of cottages and more traditional mobile homes. Busy 28th Street is just south of the village, while a church is on the north side.

Police investigators remain extremely tight lipped about the case.

Gulfport police spokesman, George Chaiz, told WLOX News, "We're not going to release anything prematurely that might compromise this investigation."

Nervous neighbors will no doubt rest easier once this case is solved and an arrest made.

Wallace Peters is confident police will find the killer or killers.

"I think they will because I've heard a lot of people talking about it and I think they probably will," he said.

As we reported earlier, police think they know the motive for the killings, but they're not making that public. Gulfport Police Chief Alan Weatherford told WLOX News that police are not trying to withhold information; they're simply protecting certain facts that are critical to the ongoing investigation. He said the safety of that neighborhood is a priority and that's why police are continuing with extra patrols there.

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