PEARL RIVER COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Pearl River County Sheriff David Allison expects to make more arrests connected to the murder of a man found shot to death in a vehicle. The death of 31-year-old Brandon Penry, Jr., of Columbia, was likely drug related, Allison said, not gang related as officials first thought.
"We recovered drugs from the victim's pocket. The group had been out on a drug binge together and were all high on drugs," Allison said. "There was a dispute between the shooter and the victim that escalated."
Allison said none of the evidence found in the case supported any gang connection.
Penry died of a gunshot wound Wednesday. His body was left in a vehicle on Poplarville-Baxterville Road.
Four people from Columbia were arrested last week. Gerrod O. Howard, 20, is charged with murder and is being held on a $1 million bond. Kenneth Johnson, Jr., 22, Gary J. Daughtry, 23, and Chadrick D. Daniel, 20, are each charged with accessory after the fact and tampering with evidence. Only Johnson has posted bond.
Investigators recovered the gun they believe was used in the crime from a home in Marion County. Allison said the weapon belonged to the uncle of one of the suspects and was taken without the uncle's knowledge.
Allison said others may have been involved as accessories after the crime, so the investigation is ongoing.