‘We just want justice for Spud’ — Family of murder victim asks witnesses to come forward

Published 12:40 pm Friday, July 15, 2022

Pastor Jerry Kelly Jr. never thought “something like this” would hit so close to home.

His nephew, Jerrivonte “Spud” Harris, was killed in a shooting homicide Tuesday in Brookhaven.

As pastor of City of Grace, former police chief of Durant, and a current officer with Hinds County Sheriff’s Office, Kelly has worked with and ministered to numerous people over his career who have suffered such loss. Though his family has suffered loss before, the violent death of his nephew has rocked the family.

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“Our family is hurting. There have been so many other things going on in Brookhaven — families who have lost loved ones,” Kelly said. “We would like anyone who has any information to come forward and help bring the person responsible to justice. Any party that knows anything concerning the situation, and leading up to what happened.”

Brookhaven Police Chief Kenneth Collins made a similar appeal Thursday.

“I need the individuals who are talking on the street about who did this to please come down and give us a statement of who did it,” Collins said. “I don’t need any hell raising. I need some heaven lifting. And we need your help, and we’re trying the best we can.”

BPD officers responded to a call around 9:30 p.m. to a residence at 414 Old Wesson Road. Harris, age 20, of 101 Eastview Drive, was found lying on the floor, unresponsive. He was pronounced dead at the scene from a gunshot wound.

“This senseless gun violence in our town” must stop, Collins said.

“I know teenagers — people — do a lot of stuff. But nobody deserves to have their life taken like this,” Kelly said. “I hope the police department is able to effectively do their jobs. We are looking for them to do what is right and what they can do within the scope of their jobs. We want justice for Spud, and for our family to be secure mentally, to know that the person who did this is not still walking around Brookhaven enjoying their life.”

Someone knows something that will help solve this crime, Kelly said, and they have an obligation to the city and the victim to say something.

“If they love Spud the way they say they do, if they were friends, they would want this,” Kelly said. “The community would want this; his friends would want this.”