WAVELAND, MS (WLOX) - The death of a man in Waveland this week has now been tied to another killing in New Orleans.
Waveland Police Chief David Allen said Thursday that his investigators are working with New Orleans Police on connections between Jeremy Fountain and Matthew Spooner.
Fountain's body was found in a wooded area of the Shoreline Park community Monday afternoon. Coroner Jim Faulk said he died after being shot in the back of the head.
Spooner, 35, was shot and killed in the 2100 block of North Miro Street. Just after midnight on July 6, officers responded to a call of an aggravated battery by shooting. When they arrived, they found Spooner suffering from a gunshot wound to the head. He was later pronounced dead at the scene.
Police say the two deaths are related, and Facebook shows Fountain and Spooner had a large group of mutual friends.
Thomas Manghelli of Hattiesburg, who says he was friends with both Fountain and Spooner, confirmed that both were former members of the Simon City Royals. However, adds that both men were currently members of Sip City Royals; a group dedicated to helping the others in the community.
Manghelli described the men as "nice and funny people" and that "everybody liked to be around them."
"This was senseless," Manghelli said. "We have no idea who did this. That's what has everybody so distraught. I don't know anyone who would want to do harm to them."
While Chief Allen would not confirm any gang affiliation was involved in these cases, he did say that gangs did have a presence in the city.
"Simon City's been around for a couple of years," Allen said. "They are a large, rather prolific gang. There have been incidents of trouble here and there with them. Generally speaking, it's not an everyday thing that we deal with. But they absolutely are here. Even in these small towns."
"Due to this being just a few days in to the investigation, no other details are being released at this time," Chief Allen said. "We will send more updates when we feel it won't jeopardize the investigation."
Anyone with information that could help investigators can call Waveland Police at (228) 255-9191.