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Gulfport shooting leaves one dead and others scrambling to safety

A 26-year-old man is now dead and an 18-year-old is behind bars, charged with shooting the victim multiple times.
Published: Jul. 8, 2021 at 7:31 AM CDT
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GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Gunshots rang out Wednesday afternoon outside of a Gulfport restaurant, leaving people in the area - including at a high school - scrambling to find safety.

A 26-year-old man is now dead and an 18-year-old is behind bars, charged with shooting the victim multiple times.

For witnesses who were at and around the South China Restaurant on Courthouse Road when it happened, it was a terrifying.

“I put my grandkids under a table in the backroom and covered them with my body,” said one witness who was left shaken from the chaos.

“I have never seen that many bullet holes in a human before,” said another.

Gulfport Police say 18-year-old Terrence Cortney Dwight Hayes Jr. and 26-year-old Raheem Omar Ramsey got into an altercation outside the restaurant around 1:30 p.m. That argument resulted in Hayes using an assault weapon to shoot Ramsey, said police. Ramsey was shot multiple times and died shortly after, confirmed authorities.

Gulfport High school is located right behind the restaurant. Administrators and teachers were in the building training new faculty members when they heard the shots and quickly began implementing their active shooter lockdown procedure.

“We heard a bunch of loud bangs and someone immediately went to the window. Like, was that a car? What happened? And then within 30 seconds to a minute, Mrs. Husley was on the intercom saying the school was on a lockdown,” said special education teacher Courtney Ladner, who hid in her classroom until the all-clear was given.

Doors were locked, lights were turned off, and within minutes of the gunfire, the building was fully locked down.

“There was not ever a moment where I had fear for myself or fear for anybody else,” said Gulfport High Principal Wendi Husley. “It was almost robotic in making sure that we took care of everyone on campus.”

Still, the fact that shots were fired so close to school grounds is something she will never forget.

”I will tell you that those gunshots we heard, that is a sound you will never forget,” said Husley.

As educators hunkered down, a couple of former students sought shelter in the school, running to the building to get away from the gunfire.

“Looking outside my window, we immediately saw two students running straight towards Gulfport High School, and it felt great to know they felt comfortable and this was the place they needed to go and that Gulfport was their safe area,” said Ladner.

Terrence Cortney Dwight Hayes Jr. is now charged with first-degree murder. He is being held at Harrison County Jail on a $2 million bond.

Since the beginning of June, WLOX has reported seven shootings in Gulfport, three of which were fatal.

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