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Accused shooter makes initial appearance; no bail set

Lt. Darrius Smith (left) walks Memphis resident Sheldon Gibbs into the Panola County jail July 30. He was turned over to Sheriff Shane Phelps and Chief Deputy Reginald Lantern for booking. He is charged with two murders and four aggravated assaults stemming from a shooting in the early morning hours of July 12 outside Como.

 

Panola County Sheriff’s Office authorities took custody of a Memphis man last Thursday morning (July 30) in connection with the multiple shootings at a rap concert northwest of Como on Saturday, July 11. Officer Billy Lightening transported him from Tennessee to Batesville.

Sheldon Gibbs, 20, was booked into the county jail about 10 a.m. on two murder and four aggravated assault charges. Early estimates indicated more than 500 and up to 1,000 people may have been at the concert.

Gibbs made an initial appearance Monday, Aug. 3, before Justice Court Judge Mike Wilson in Sardis. He was represented by Claiborne Ferguson Law Firm of Memphis. No bond was set.

A preliminary hearing was set for Aug. 25 in Justice Court. At that hearing the judge is expected to discuss bond with the accused and his representation.

Gibbs is believed to be one of several people who fired weapons about 2:30 a.m. Sunday morning during a performance by Memphis rapper Big Boogie at an outdoor concert held at LP’s Ballpark near the Panola-Tate County line.

Sheriff Shane Phelps said investigators  interviewed dozens of witnesses from the scene, and the charges against Gibbs were the result.

Killed at the scene was L.V. Wilbourn.  A second victim, Jasmine Bradshaw, died from gunshot wounds while being flown to a Memphis hospital.

Sheldon Gibbs was arrested Tuesday by the United States Marshals Service’s Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force, along with the Memphis Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.

There were multiple other injuries, including some sustained by concert goers run over by vehicles as people rushed to leave the scene. Aggravated assault charges may also be filed in the future, authorities said.

PCSO has asked that anyone with information about the identity of other people who fired weapons at the concert call the department at 662-563-6230, or call 1-888-8CRIMES to make a report.

Big Boogie records for the CMG (Collective Music Group) label started by fellow Memphis entertainer Yo Gotti. Also on the label is Gibbs, who serves as part of Big Boogie’s entourage and himself performs under the name of Chubba Dan.

A search of online music videos featuring Chubba Dan show Gibbs rapping and performing with what appears to be automatic weapons.

Several videos reportedly shot on cell phones at the scene have been posted on social media and news sites. In those, as many as 100 shots can be heard. Investigators later recovered several different types of shell casings and took statements from witnesses who said there were multiple shooters.

Some social media platforms have notices posted of another concert planned for the same location – LP’s Ballpark – in September. It’s not clear if the advertised concert in the fall was planned before the July incident and hasn’t been taken down, or if another event is being organized.

Phelps said no large gatherings of that type will be allowed again without approval from the Land Use and Development Commission, which meets monthly to give exceptions and permits when applications are made by anyone wanting to hold a sale or have an event in the county, and outside of Batesville or the other towns in Panola.

Chad Meek, who heads the county’s land development office, said he was contacted shortly after the July concert where Gibbs allegedly shot his victims, by someone inquiring about the permitting process, but no one has turned in an application since that time.