Pascagoula teen dies from accidental shooting

JaMarcus Peairs (Photo courtesy Pascagoula School District)
JaMarcus Peairs (Photo courtesy Pascagoula School District)
Michael L'Ernest Peairs (Photo courtesy Pascagoula Police Dept.)
Michael L'Ernest Peairs (Photo courtesy Pascagoula Police Dept.)

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - A Pascagoula teen died Tuesday night from what police are now calling an accidental shooting.

Just after 6pm Monday night, officials with Singing River Hospital notified police that JaMarcus L. Peairs was in the emergency room. When officers arrived, they learned that the shooting happened at Peairs' home on Miller Street.

Investigators have since determined that the teen was accidentally shot by Michael L'Ernest Peairs, as he was attempting to unload a semi-automatic pistol. Michael Peairs said the gun discharged striking the younger Peairs in the left side.

The Pascagoula Police Department will be presenting the facts and circumstances of the case to the next available Grand Jury.

JaMarcus Peairs was a sophomore at Pascagoula High School. Those who knew the teen describe him as respectful and easy going.

Ashley Ulrich was Peairs' English teacher.

"Each day I looked forward to seeing him come through my classroom door and give me his beautiful smile as I greeted him. I valued his efforts in my class, as well as his respectful behavior. Over the past months, I have come to know Jamarcus as a young man who was, and still is, greatly loved and respected by his peers, and because of this, he will be dearly missed. Our English class will not be the same without him," Ulrich said.

Guidance Counselor Sheniqua Roberson said, "JaMarcus was very lovable, no matter what. Even if I had to fuss at him about something, he always had a smile on his face. What I liked the most about him was that he was very respectful. I worked with him closely on his schedule for classes and monitored his grades. I will miss him greatly."

Peairs' physical education teacher, Coach Johnny Olsen, remembered how easily JaMarcus was able to relate to his fellow students.

"JaMarcus was a great guy and got along well with the rest of the guys in the class. The rest of the students really thought a lot of him. It's really a tragedy when a life is taken so young. It's a lesson I hope the students will learn from," Olsen said.