Eight children are fatherless because of a deadly assault Gulfport police say was over a woman. Police say Neco Strickland, 33, was stabbed several times last night at a gas station on Highway 49 and Creosote Road. He later died at the hospital.
Less than two hours after the stabbing, police arrested Danny Jerard Jackson, also 33 and from Gulfport. He's in jail charged with murder and under a $1 million dollar bond.
The victim's family members say even in their shock and grief, their main focus now is justice for Neco.
In the midst of their sorrow, old photographs remind Neco Strickland's family of happier times.
Dorothy McClendon is Neco's aunt.
"You know he'd cheer you up when he'd walk into a room. He was just a cheerful person. A loving person."
"He was a great person," said Neco's brother, Rodney Strickland. "Took care of his kids. He worked two jobs and he's a people person. I don't know why anyone would want to hurt him."
However, on Wednesday night, someone did hurt Neco Strickland. Gulfport police say he was attacked at a gas station. The coroner says Strickland lost a massive amount of blood from five stab wounds.
McClendon said, "I think a lot of it's just shock in losing Neco. It's such a senseless death, the way we lost him. We love him so much and we're going to miss him."
Also left behind to miss him are eight children. The family says Neco's kids range from a 19-year-old daughter to two twin sons who just turned one.
"We want to make sure that law enforcement takes this case to the max," said McClendon. "We want to make sure that the person that did this is punished to the max."
"We want justice," said Rodney McClendon. "It's something just to take somebody's life like that. We want him in jail. No bond or nothing. Let justice take its place."
Rodney Strickland will give his very first sermon on July 8th, which will now be a testimony of his brother's life and tragic death.
"It's going to hurt, but what I'm going to preach about is something that went on - evil," said Rodney Strickland. "The devil is busy. He's not going to let go at any time and that's why you've got to know the Lord."
It's that faith, the Stricklands say, gives them comfort.
Gulfport Police say a description from witnesses of what the attacker was driving led them to Cuandet Road. They later arrested Danny Jerard Jackson who lives on that street.