Couple identified in murder-suicide

Published 10:16 am Thursday, July 21, 2016

Police say a Monticello man appears to have fatally shot his girlfriend with a semiautomatic handgun before turning the weapon on himself early Wednesday.

Lawrence County Coroner Sandra Lambert identified the couple as Denzel C. Nash, 24, of Monticello, and Shaniqua Nicole Dawkins, 24, of Hattiesburg. Monticello Police Chief David Stanley said Dawkins was visiting her boyfriend from Hattiesburg when the incident took place.

Stanley said Nash appears to have fatally shot Dawkins with a 9 mm semi-automatic handgun around 1 a.m. and before shooting himself. Dawkins was pronounced dead on the scene, Lambert said. Nash was taken to Lawrence County Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, Stanley said.

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Stanley said 911 was called at 1:18 a.m. A motive has not been determined, he said. The incident remains under investigation, Stanley said.