GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - According to Harrison County Assistant District Attorney Chris Schmidt, 25-year-old Michael Eugene Welch was convicted on three counts of aggrevated assault. It took only an hour for the jury to reach that verdict.
In March of 2007, a drive-by shooting in Gulfport occurred near Crossroads Mall. Three brothers were in a car and were shot at a stoplight at Community Road and Highway 49. One of the brothers had superficial wounds; while another brother was shot in shoulder. The third brother was shot in face one time. There was a fourth passenger in car who was not hit. All four identified Welch as the shooter.
All three brothers identified Welch in a lineup and in court. Welch's half-sister was driving the vehicle that Welch was in testified against him.
Prosecutors say the incident started as banter between passengers in two separate vehicles at a stoplight at Airport Road on Highway 49. By the time they got to Crossroads Mall at Community Road, the talking, teasing and taunting escalated and shots were fired.
Welch maintained a third person in the car did the shooting.