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Brookhaven murder suspect remains at large

Several drug arrests were made over the holiday weekend as law enforcement agencies joined forces in the search for a man suspected of shooting to death a Brookhaven truck driver and injuring six others at a birthday party.

Brookhaven Police Chief Kenneth Collins said law enforcement officers with several agencies have combed the streets since the fatal shooting of Billy Ray Thomas around 12:15 a.m. Friday at a private party at Oasis Club on Martin Street at South First Street.

Justin Anderson was initially charged with aggravated assault but is now wanted for murder, Collins said.

A male victim who was shot in the stomach remains in stable condition at University of Mississippi Medical Center, Collins said. Three men and two women who were also injured in the shooting were treated and released at King’s Daughters Medical Center Friday.

“We put the community on lockdown in case of retaliation,” Collins said.

Over Friday and Saturday, Brookhaven police participated in a joint detail with  Southwest MS Narcotics Task Force, the Mississippi Department of Corrections and the state Bureau of Narcotics. In the course of working safety check points within the city, four individuals were arrested on various charges.

• Danny Childs Jr., 25, of 2455 Erie Lane was arrested by BPD on a charge of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute by BPD.

•  Jacklon R. May, 28, of 807 Beauregard St. was arrested by BPD on charges of possession of a weapon by a convicted felon and possession of marijuana with intent to sell. 

• Albert D. Stewart, 41, of 221 Mildred St. was arrested by MBN on charges of felony possession of cocaine with intent to sell and possession of marijuana with intent to sell.

• Fredrick Demond Belton, 28, of North Jackson Street, was arrested on a city warrant by BPD.

MBN Director John Dowdy was glad to see Stewart’s arrest.

“This particular individual has been a known associate of drug traffickers for some time,” he said.

Dowdy said agents seized about $14,000 from the vehicle during Stewart’s arrest.

Collins said police are working overtime “to prevent an escalating violence” after the shooting Friday.

“We want to keep our community safe,” he said.

Law enforcement also conducted raids on at least eight houses over the weekend. Stewart’s arrest came because of the added police presence.

“He just got caught up in the net,” Collins said. “We’re going to be out here protecting this town.”

He expects more arrests to come as they look for Anderson.

He said Anderson is expected to be traveling between Adams County and Brookhaven.

“He’s back and forth from different places. They always come back to Brookhaven,” he said.

Collins said Anderson was spotted traveling with suspected bank robber Lattrick Williams.

“We’ve got word they’ve been riding and getting around together,” he said.

Williams is a suspect in the Aug. 31 robbery of the Star Town branch of State Bank & Trust Co. at the corner of East Monticello Street and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.

Collins said federal marshals are helping in the search and anyone caught helping Anderson will be arrested.

“If you’re helping them, we’re going to charge you too,” he said. “You’re putting yourself in a dangerous position when you’re riding with them. We’re not going to put up with anybody threatening the safety of innocent people.”

Anyone with information about the location of the suspect is asked to call Brookhaven Police Department at 601-833-2424, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office at 601-833-5251 or CrimeStoppers at 601-823-0150. Tips leading to an arrest may be eligible for a cash reward.