Murdered man's family desperate for clues to gunman's identity

Published: Oct. 7, 2013 at 4:49 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 8, 2013 at 9:53 AM CDT
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Kema Dione Keys
Kema Dione Keys

PEARL RIVER COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Picayune police investigators are trying to learn more about what happened Saturday night that left one man dead. At this time, all police know is Kema Keys, 38, was shot several times. And the only description of the gunman from witnesses is that he was a black man.

Tears filled the eyes of Kema Keys' family and friends as they gathered together Monday to remember their loved one.

"His heart was very big. He was the one who cared and looked out for the benefit of others rather than himself," Keys brother Teno Stubbs said.

Stubbs is one of Keys' nine siblings; Their mother is Picayune Council Woman Lynn Bogan Bumpers.

"I was the only one authorities let see his body. It was very painful," Stubbs said. "I can't describe the pain as I seen my brother laid up on the table lifeless."

"My momma is forgiving. She has forgiven within her heart. She has forgiven," Keys' sister Shannon Keys said with tears strolling down her face. "We just want the community to help us like she has helped so many others, so we can have justice. Please pull through like my mom has pulled through for everyone else."

Broken glass is still in the driveway where Keys was found shot. Picayune Police Chief Bryan Dawsey said Keys was in the front passenger seat of a car parked in a Bolar Street driveway.

"There was a party a few houses away so there were people out in the neighborhood that night, and we are in the process of interviewing the people that were out there," Dawsey said. "But we do not have anything as far as concrete information to go on."

Dawsey said all investigators have been working around the clock searching for clues. Right now, all investigators know is the suspect is a black male.

"The men and women of this police department will pursue this relentlessly to bring the person or people to justice," Dawsey said.

The same day Keys was shot to death, family and friends said he opened up in church about the bad decisions he made in life. He told those in the audience about his plan to share his story to help the youth in the community make better decisions.

"He stood up in God's house, anointed by God, to give a powerful speech to help others," Stubbs said. "So I know he is now in the hands of the Lord. That is my peace and my comfort, but I wish no one else to go through."

Keys also leaves behind six children.

Coroner Derek Turnage said preliminary autopsy results show the cause of death was numerous shots to the upper torso.

If you have any information about this murder, you are asked to call Pearl River Crimestoppers at (601) 799-CLUE. There is a cash reward for anyone giving information leading to an arrest.

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