Monday night shootings not connected, police say 9/5/2014

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 5, 2014

Monday night shootings not connected, police say

By John Howell

The man under investigation in connection with the Monday night shooting death of Corey Henderson was free on bond following his July indictment for felony DUI death.

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Aundricus Lee Draper, 21, had been indicted for the December 23, 2013, vehicle crash at Highway 6 and Terza Road that killed University of Akron assistant head football coach Alan Arrington.

Draper had also been indicted in the same July session of the Panola County Second Court District Grand Jury for felony evasion after he refused to stop his vehicle in March for a Batesville police officer seeking to stop him for reckless driving.

Authorities on Thursday also expected to charge Draper for a December 13, 2013, armed robbery of an occupied dwelling and for malicious mischief in connection with the same incident, Batesville Police Chief Tony Jones said.

Arrested within hours

By Tuesday morning law enforcement officials had arrested Draper following a bizarre night during which three people had been shot in two separate incidents.

The Batesville Police Department (BPD) received the call about the fatal shooting in the front yard of a Patterson Street home at 10:48 p.m. Lt. Ruby Meyers said. 

The call brought law enforcement vehicles and an ambulance racing through city streets, sirens screaming. As first responders secured the crime scene at the Patterson Street home,  a second call came to police at 11:23 p.m. reporting the West Ridge Apartments shooting, setting off a second round of response from law enforcement and Med Stat.

Dead at Patterson Street

Panola County Coroner Gracie Grant-Gulledge said that Corey Henderson was pronounced dead at the scene of a shooting at the home at the corner of Patterson and Williams Streets in James Subdivision. 

Officers allege that Draper followed Henderson after the convenience store argument.

Law enforcement personnel and vehicles and neighbors, some sobbing and in tears, clustered near the Patterson Street shooting scene as Monday night became Tuesday morning. 

Henderson was shot multiple times. His body was sent to Jackson for autopsy, the coroner said.

A second victim with Henderson, Darrius Johnson, was shot one time. He was transported to the Memphis Regional Medical Center.

Second shooting not connected

By Tuesday morning investigators had also determined that  the shooting at West Ridge Apartments was not connected with the first. BPD Deputy Police Chief Don Province said that shooting victim Dustin Armstrong had been in his girlfriend’s apartment when he was shot in the leg in an apparent robbery attempt.

By mid-morning Wednesday, investigators released a photo of Devonta Pride as a suspect in the West Ridge shooting and the object of a search by the Panola County Sheriff’s Department and the U.S. Marshals’ Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force as well as BPD. 

By late Wednesday morning, Pride and Derrick Morning were in custody, charged with armed robbery and aggravated assault.