Two victims in weekend shooting spree were Brookhaven students

Published 7:48 pm Sunday, May 28, 2017

Two of the victims in the weekend shooting spree that left eight dead, including a deputy, were students at Brookhaven High School and Lipsey Middle School.

The identities of the victims, other than sheriff’s deputy William Durr, have not been released by law enforcement.  Durr, 36, was a two-year veteran of the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office and a four-year veteran of the Brookhaven Police Department. Durr is the first Lincoln County officer killed in the line of duty, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.

The Associated Press identified three of the victims as Barbara Mitchell,  Toccarra May and Brenda May.

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School officials identified the students as Austin Edwards from Lipsey and Jordan Blackwell of Brookhaven High School.

The suspect in all eight deaths has been identified as 35-year-old Willie C. Godbolt of 377 Brister Street in Bogue Chitto. He was taken into custody shortly before 7 a.m. near Super Jack’s at East Lincoln Road and Hwy. 84.

He will likely be charged with one count of capital murder and seven counts of first degree murder, said Mississippi Bureau of Investigation spokesman Warren Strain.

The shooting spree began at approximately 11:30 p.m. with a call at 2871 Lee Drive in Bogue Chitto. Four bodies, three females and the deputy, were recovered there, Strain said.

The second crime scene was located at 1658 Coopertown Road in Brookhaven. The bodies of two male students were located there.

The third crime scene was located at 312 East Lincoln Road near Super Jack’s, and a male and a female were recovered at that location.

Strain said Godbolt could face additional charges such as auto burglary and kidnapping.

“The Brookhaven School District sends our condolences and prayers to all of the families that have been impacted by last night’s tragic events,” said Brookhaven School District Deputy Superintendent Rod Henderson Sunday. “We offer our support and love to everyone during this difficult time.”

Blackwell was a incoming senior and a linebacker for the Panther football team. 

He was named to the All-State Second Team this past season. Blackwell had 86 total tackles, 64 of them solo tackles, three sacks and averaged just over seven tackles per game

Coach Tommy Clopton said Blackwell’s teammates are grieving his death.

“He was a young man that was full of life,” he said. “He was an extremely competitive young man who brought out the competitiveness in those around him.

“He’s an irreplaceable person. We will no doubt miss him for days, weeks, years to come.”

Clopton said Blackwell has been a starter for Ole Brook since 10th grade year.

He had recently received scholarship offers from University of Central Arkansas and Jackson State University, Clopton said.

The coach said he had been meeting with his players throughout the day Sunday.

“We will have some time together in the morning to try to help them work their way through their loss, he said Sunday afternoon.

“Our prayers go out to all the Blackwell and Edwards families,” he said.