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Child killed in drive-by shooting

Someone fired at a house in a small, quiet neighborhood Wednesday night and took the life of a 7-year-old boy. Police and others in the community want to know why.

Brookhaven police are on the hunt for the person or people involved in a drive-by shooting that killed Quantavious Allen Jr., a little boy who would have been a second-grader at Mamie Martin Elementary in the fall.

Allen died at 9:40 p.m. Wednesday at University of Mississippi Medical Center, said Lincoln County Deputy Coroner Ricky Alford.

Brookhaven Police Chief Kenneth Collins said the child was inside his home at 2457 Grant Road when a bullet fired from an assault rifle struck him.

“He was hit by one of the projectiles that came through the home,” he said.

The boy lived on Grant Road with his father and sister.

The boy’s father works for the city in the public works department.

“He had just got off from work and he had his two kids with him and somebody shot into his house, multiple shots with an assault rifle,” Collins said.

The child was taken by private vehicle to King’s Daughters Medical Center and was later airlifted to UMMC.

Collins said he and investigators are seeking the identity of the shooter, but it is slow coming.

“We’re working out here trying to find out what happened to this kid, and there is very little cooperation,” he said.

Collins hopes to use his personal connections with residents in that area of town northeast of Brookhaven Country Club to get information.

“Brignall is where I was raised up at,” he said Wednesday night. “We’ll be out the rest of the night trying to run down some leads and trying to see what we can get on our own because at this time we’ve had very little cooperation from witnesses. The information I am getting, I’m really having to work for it because we have a lot of uncooperative people up here.”

The chief hopes someone will come forward with information they can use to make an arrest in the case.

“A 7-year-old child is innocent. Whatever the problems that the adults had it should not have spilled over dealing with the home and the kids,” he said.

The Brookhaven School District acknowledged the child’s death on social media.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family,” it said.

Janee’ Harrison, an administrator in the school district, was saddened and outraged by the news of the boy’s death.

“We wake to yet another tragic shooting,” she said. “This time, of a 7-year-old baby who was doing nothing but being in the comfort of his own home.”

She said the continued violence in her hometown must stop and this death should be a call to action.

“Brookhaven has many positive, many great things,” she said. “We just cannot continue this pattern of violence and madness that supersedes every good and positive gift that is, ultimately, our home.

“How can we attract business and industry? How can we create jobs? In essence, how can we continue to survive? We have got to pray mightily for our community, for our families, for this family who has lost a baby to needless violence. But this must also be a call to action. This has to stop.”

State Rep. Becky Currie, a nurse in Brookhaven, is urging anyone with information about the shooting to come forward.

“Brookhaven’s heart is broken once again,” she said. “The senseless killing of this child is heartbreaking. There are people that know who did this. We must put this sick person in jail for the rest of their life. Brookhaven is better than this. Pray for our community and this family.”

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call the Brookhaven Police Department at 601-833-2424 or CrimeStoppers at 601-823-0150. Tips leading to an arrest may be eligible for a cash reward up to $1,000.