Sixth suspect arrested, fifth to be charged with murder in Gulfport New Year’s Eve shooting
GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - A sixth suspect is now in custody and is the fifth person to be charged with murder in the Gulfport New Year’s Eve shooting that left four people dead and three others injured.
Police announced Thursday that 20-year-old Latavion Devon Bland was arrested on Feb. 2 and is now charged with murder in the Dec. 31 shooting.
That shooting left 23-year-old Corey Dubose of D’Iberville, 28-year-old Sedrick McCord of Gulfport; 22-year-old Aubrey Lewis of Bay St. Louis, and 52-year-old Nathaniel Harris dead. Two other men and one woman also suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
Bland is charged with one count of second degree murder, one count of shooting into a dwelling and three counts of aggravated assault.
He’s the fifth suspect to be charged with murder in the New Year’s Eve shooting, which happened at a house party on Lewis Avenue just minutes before the clock struck midnight.
- Isavian O’Terry Rayshun Preston, 23 - One count of first degree murder and one count of second degree murder
- Mario Clark, 23 - One count of second degree murder and two counts of shooting into a dwelling
- Vincent Jaquan Armstrong, 18 - One count of second degree murder and two counts of shooting into a dwelling
- Khalid Williams, 26 - One count of second degree murder, two counts of shooting into a dwelling, and one count of possession of a weapon after a felony conviction
Preston, Clark, Armstrong and Williams were all arrested on Jan. 7. At the time, Preston was taken into custody while in Kentucky, where he was arrested for charges unrelated to the New Year’s Eve murder. He was extradited back to Gulfport and formerly charged for the Dec. 31 shooting on Jan. 28.
Bland was transported to the Harrison County Adult Detention Facility where he is being held with no bond for the murder charge, a $250,000 bond for Shooting into a Dwelling, and a $750,000 bond for the three counts of Aggravated Assault.
Clark and Armstrong are also being held with no bond on the murder charges as well as a $500,000 bond for the shooting into a dwelling charges. Williams is being held without bond on the murder charge and has a $550,000 bond for shooting into a dwelling.
Another suspect, 23-year-old Breanna Nicole Riley, was arrested on Jan. 25. She is charged with one count of hindering the prosecution or apprehension of another for conduct constituting a felony. She was taken to Harrison County ADC to be held on a $50,000 bond.
According to court documents obtained by WLOX, the New Year’s Eve party on Lewis Avenue was mostly attended by older adults from the Gaston Point area. A flyer announcing the party was passed through social media, and a large group of younger adults from the Gaston Point area arrived at the party.
Shortly afterward, a large group of younger adults from the Soria City area arrived at the party. Both groups of younger adults were heavily armed with firearms, including multiple semi-automatic rifles and pistols. They also openly displayed their firearms while ingesting alcohol and narcotics, said the court documents.
During the course of the party, witnesses said that a fight broke out between Dubose and Lewis. During the altercation, Lewis and Dubose reportedly pulled out guns and shot each other. At the same time, witnesses told police McCord pulled out a gun and shot Dubose, and Preston pulled out a gun and shot McCord multiple times.
While Dubose, Lewis, McCord and Preston all fired at each other, multiple people from each neighborhood group pulled at guns and fired multiple shots into the crowd that had gathered around the fight between Lewis and Dubose, said the affidavit. As the crowd scattered, additional shots were fired in the direction of three different houses on Lewis Avenue which were hit by gunfire.
During the mayhem, Nathaniel Harris, who was unarmed, was shot approximately five times. Witnesses were able to identify the shooters to police, said the affidavit. Detectives were able to determine each shooter’s position by the evidence collected from the scene and witness statements.
Gulfport Police have repeatedly thanked witnesses and community members for coming forward with information about the shooting. Following the Feb. 2 arrest of Latavion Bland, GPD said: “Again, we would like to thank the Gaston Point Community for coming forward with information regarding this incident so we can bring justice to the victims and their families while helping make Gulfport a safer place.”
Again, we would like to thank the Gaston Point Community for coming forward with information regarding this incident so we can bring justice to the victims and their families while helping make Gulfport a safer place.
Anyone with any information regarding this incident is urged to contact the Gulfport Police Department at 228-868-5959. Anonymous tips can also be made to Mississippi Coast Crime Stoppers online or by calling 877-787-5898
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