UPDATE: Ocean Springs shooting suspect charged with 1st degree murder, awaiting extradition
OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (WLOX) - According to Capt. Ryan Lemaire with Ocean Springs PD, a suspect is in custody and being charged with 1st degree murder following a shooting that left one dead and six others injured at The Scratch Kitchen Bar & Restaurant.
Officials believe the shooting was gang-related. 19-year-old Chayse Harmon of Moss Point has been identified by Jackson County Deputy Coroner James Prisock as the lone fatality in the case. A suspect is currently in custody and awaiting extradition back to Mississippi.
“At this time, the identity of the suspect will not be released as the investigation continues,” said Ocean Springs Police Chief Mark Dunston. “Detectives are continuing to conduct interviews and do not want details to taint any forthcoming information.”
As for the injuries sustained by the six other victims, none are considered serious; only one person is still receiving medical attention as of 4:30 p.m. Saturday. All six are considered to be innocent bystanders in the shooting.
Ocean Springs Mayor Kenny Holloway issued this statement on Saturday in regards to the incident:
Investigators say the incident took place around 11 p.m. Friday night. Surveillance photos released by police Saturday morning showed a man wanted for questioning, but investigators have now ruled that man out as a suspect.
The Scratch Kitchen is in a busy section of downtown bars and restaurants usually packed on nights and weekends. Cinco de Mayo celebrations also drew a big crowd Friday night.
Witnesses on social media recounted their efforts to help victims as they waited for first responders to arrive. One person described holding his t-shirt over the wound of one victim, and comforting a family member of another victim.
Early Saturday morning, the backside of The Scratch Kitchen’s bar and patio area facing DeSoto Avenue was still roped off with crime scene tape as investigators worked the scene.
The Ocean Springs shooting marks the sixth shooting in seven days in South Mississippi. Four of those shootings involved fatalities.
Ocean Springs Police still ask for anyone with information about the shooting to call investigators at 228-875-2211. You can also leave an anonymous tip with Mississippi Coast Crime Stoppers by calling at (877) 787-5898. Crime Stoppers is offering a $2,500 cash reward for information leading to an arrest.
WLOX News will continue to update this story as we learn more information on the incident.
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