GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - A year later, the search for justice continues after a string of deadly days in Gulfport which resulted in five people being killed over a period of less than two weeks.
The people responsible for their murders are still on the streets, and for the family of 18-year old Brooklyn Alsobrook the one-year anniversary of her death is a painful reminder of who they’ve lost and closure they’ve yet to receive.
When she was killed, Brooklyn Alsobrook was in the prime of her life. Her mother Amber Danford and other family members in Texas talked with WLOX in a video call, and they spoke of her glowing personality and sense of style.
“She was funny; she always had to look good. If she didn’t look good she wasn’t going, with the shoes,” said the family. “She always had to look nice.”
The family believed Brooklyn had plans to make her way back to Texas where she grew up, but on the rainy night of Feb. 27, 2019, Brooklyn’s life was taken. Police received reports of multiple gunshots at a duplex right off Pass Road on 8th Avenue. Brooklyn was found shot and killed inside the duplex, and Maxwell Phillips was dead in the yard. The crime had an element of complication from the beginning.
“Our first reaction was we needed to control the scene the best we could due to the weather and not lose any potential evidence that was on the ground,” said Detective Sgt. Clay Fulks.
Two men were seen by witnesses fleeing the scene, but now a year later police are still looking for other leads.
“As time passes, distance is created between people and evidence, and that becomes a greater challenge for us,” said Chief Leonard Papania.
Sgt. Clay Fulks is leading the investigation, and he said it appeared Brooklyn and Phillips were ambushed by someone who wanted to cause harm.
“I think this was someone that likely knew Ms. Alsobrook and Mr. Phillips, so I don’t think this was a random event,” Fulks said.
Leading up to his death, Maxwell Phillips posted regular pictures on social media of him with large amounts of cash. In 2018 Phillips, was arrested for human trafficking and Brooklyn was named as a 17-year old victim.
If her family in Texas could go back in time they would have a clear message for Brooklyn.
“Make good choices to change your lifestyle and get away from people who bring you down,” said Laneca Hassell, Brooklyn’s aunt.
Following the human trafficking incident, Brooklyn went to stay with her brother Wiliam Jackson in Oklahoma.
“She was my little sister, and I miss her more than anything,” Jackson said.
Jackson saw his little sister for the final time five months before her death at a bus station in Oklahoma City. She was headed back to Gulfport, where her family believes she reunited with Phillips who was out on bond.
Although Jackson said he knows little about the details surrounding her death, he wants justice.
“That’s the first thing I pray to God for every night is they find out who did it,” Jackson said.
Brooklyn’s mother reaches out to investigators for updates always hoping for a breakthrough in the case.
“I want them to pay for them to pay for what they did,” said Amber Danford, Brooklyn’s mother.
For the killer to be brought to justice, police still need information.
“It takes people willing to have the courage to come forward and share what they know,” Papania said. “Sometimes it’s people who have engaged in things they probably should not have, but when they have that courage to come forward and allow us to bring justice to it then yeah we can solve it.”
According to investigators, they do have some information on potential suspects but haven’t released it because if someone comes forward with additional details, they can match up the descriptions.
If you know anything about the death of Brooklyn Alsobrook or any of the other five unsolved murder cases contact Gulfport Police at (228) 868-5900.