Bloodshed spoils weekend celebrations: Two murders, several shootings in the city

By JAMIE PATTERSON,

The weekend was filled with chaos and bloodshed in Yazoo City as three separate shootings left two men dead and others injured.

As many gathered in Yazoo City to celebrate homecoming over the weekend, shootings occurred within a neighborhood, outside a nightclub and along a central street within the city.

No arrests have been made in any of the three separate shootings, but investigators continue to piece together what happened in all incidents, with one very strong lead in connection with two of the shootings that they believe are related to each other.

Prentiss Avenue

Two men were injured during a shooting on Prentiss Avenue last Thursday.

Capt. William Nevels, with the Yazoo City Police Department, said one male was shot in the leg and another was injured. Both victims received medical care and were later released.

“According to the two victims, they were riding in their vehicle when shots were fired upon them,” Nevels said.

Main Street

nightclub

Two days later, another shooting occurred outside a nightclub on Main Street, leaving one man dead and a female injured after she was struck by a vehicle attempting to leave the scene during the chaotic gunfire.

Westavius Harris, 25, was pronounced dead around 2:30 a.m. in the emergency room of Baptist Medical Yazoo. Yazoo County Coroner Ricky Shivers said he was killed by a single gunshot wound.

The shooting occurred outside the Red Bottom Club in the final block of Main Street around 1:30 a.m. Saturday in what investigators are referring to as a scene from the “O.K. Corral.”

“We had three officers on the scene, shutting the club down,” Nevels said. “A physical altercation that began inside Red Bottom led across the street into an alley where two males began shooting.”

According to the city ordinance, nightclubs are to close at 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. That ordinance states that “no business shall be conducted and no patrons or anyone shall remain on the premises immediately thereafter.”

The city ordinance also requires that security officers be on scene at local nightclubs. Investigators said Red Bottom did have security in place.

“In the midst of clearing the club out for the night, the fight started,” Nevels added.

Harris was shot and later died at a local hospital. A second victim who was also shot remains in stable condition at a Jackson hospital. A female was also injured after being struck by a vehicle.

Investigators recovered multiple bullet cases at the scene.

“No arrests have been made, but we are following an extremely strong lead,” Nevels said. “Arrests will be made.”

Crimestoppers is also offering up to $2,500 in reward money for any information leading to arrests in the nightclub shooting.

Eleventh Street

Another man was shot and killed on Eleventh Street after he left a convenience store on Grand Avenue late Sunday night.

Shivers pronounced Nathan Smith, 29, dead at the scene from multiple gunshot wounds about 11:30 p.m.

“We believe he was returning to his Jackson Avenue home after leaving a store,” Nevels said.

Gunfire on Jackson Avenue

As of press time, officers were investigating reports of gunfire on Jackson Avenue Monday night. It appears it was random gunfire with no injuries, as of press time.

Nevel encourages the public to call the police department at746-1131 or Crimestoppers at 746-TIPS.