Man waiting at Mississippi courthouse shot and killed

(WJTV Photo)

CANTON, Miss. (AP) — A man fatally shot a defendant waiting in a small courtyard outside a county courthouse in Mississippi on Monday morning, and a suspect is in custody, law enforcement officials said.

The suspect has been arrested and is in jail, Madison County Sheriff Randy Tucker said, but he declined to identify him.

Tucker and Madison County District Attorney Michael Guest said they don’t know why the suspect would have shot the other man. The victim was Kendrick Armond Brown, according to an indictment that Guest forwarded to The Associated Press.

Brown was expected to appear in court on drug charges, but he was not a witness or a suspect in other current criminal cases, Guest said.

The shooting happened outside the Madison County courthouse in Canton, a historic antebellum town known for its Christmas light festival on the town square.

The suspect got out of a car, walked up and shot the victim once with a semiautomatic handgun, Tucker said. Deputies emerged from the courthouse, and the suspect laid down the handgun and was arrested without a struggle, Tucker said.

The victim was hit in the chest and died on the scene, Tucker said. He described the shooting as unfolding quickly.

In the courtyard, two semicircles of four benches surround a flagpole. Law enforcement officials searched with metal detectors under crepe myrtle trees, looking for the shell from the handgun. But despite an hour of sifting through pine straw, Tucker said, authorities had not yet found the shell.

There are metal detectors inside the courthouse door, but the parking lot is open to the public and unguarded. The Canton Police Department sits at the rear of the parking lot, less than 200 yards from the front door of the courthouse.

District Attorney Michael Guest said the victim had been waiting outside the courthouse with his lawyer, Rusty Willard. Guest said the victim was expected to appear for a status conference on a case for which he’d been indicted on drug charges. Prosecutors expected that the victim would reject a plea offer and the judge would set the case for trial, Guest said.

Guest said he thought there was little that deputies could have done to prevent the shooting. “There would have been, in my opinion, no way this could have been stopped,” Guest said.

Canton is the seat of Madison County, just north of Jackson. The south end of the county is a rapidly growing suburb, while the northern half is poorer and a more traditional part of the South. Canton also is the home of a Nissan assembly plant that employs more than 6,000 people. Canton’s population is about 13,000.

The 1996 movie “A Time to Kill,” based on John Grisham’s novel, was filmed in part at the courthouse. In the movie, a father played by Samuel L. Jackson goes to court and kills two men on trial over the rape of his daughter.

WISHTV.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s