Gulfport shooting suspect arrested after months long search

Gulfport shooting suspect arrested after months long search

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The second suspect in a shooting that left two people injured and one dead is behind bars after being on the run for months.

J'Var Vontou Pope is charged in the April 6 death of 54-year-old Mitchell Weathersby and the drive-by shooting of two other victims, Eugene Weathersby and Jerry Lee Lewis.

The shooting occurred near the intersection of Martin Luther King Boulevard and Louisiana Avenue.

Gulfport Police have been searching for Pope since early in June, when he was officially named as a person of interest in the investigation. According to Sgt. Damon McDaniel, police received a tip on Friday night of Pope's possible location. After evaluating the information, McDaniel said officers were able to locate the suspect in Bay St. Louis shortly afterward.

Pope attempted to flee on foot, said McDaniel, but was quickly apprehended and placed in custody.

Pope is the second suspect to be arrested in this shooting. Robert Emil Hart, 23 of Gulfport, was arrested on June 4 in connection with the shootings and is also charged with murder, two counts of armed robbery and two counts of aggravated assault.

He is being held at the Harrison County Jail on a $5 million bond.

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