Investigators Discover Apparent Homocide While Investigating Fire

An autopsy on Thursday confirmed what investigators suspected as they went through the gutted single story house on Harrison Street in north Gulfport. Ronald Brock and Brenda Mason were shot to death before the house was set on fire.

"Police didn't witness this; police weren't there," Gulfport Police Chief Wayne Payne said. "There are some citizens in that area that probably saw what happened or might have even seen a car. They might have seen a car that passed through the areas. That car could lead to an arrest."

Family members and friends watched in disbelief as officers worked the crime scene.

"I'm just hurting, 'cause nobody deserves to go out the way she did regardless of what they did," the victims' niece, Kisha Mason, said. "Her and Ronald were sweet people. But they didn't deserve that."

When firefighters arrived Wednesday night, they found an inferno.

"They went in and walked into a wall of fire basically," Gulfport Fire Chief Pat Sullivan said. "There was fire coming out everywhere, and the firefighters had to attack through the wall of the fire, and they were able to get inside and find them, but it was too late. There was nothing they could do at that point."

Police have no suspects or motives, but Chief Payne says they are looking at a possible drug connection involving Mason. Payne confirmed that she had prior arrests.

According to the Harrison County District Attorney's office, Brenda Mason pleaded guilty to one count of selling cocaine. Chief Payne says, investigators will look at Mason's criminal record and what connection it may have to her death, as well as Ronald Brock's.