HED:Police arrest five suspects in two drive-by shootings

By Michaela Gibson Morris

Daily Journal

Tupelo police have arrested five Tupelo residents and have warrants for four more people in connection with two Monday morning drive-by shootings.

Police believe an incident at a local skating rink Sunday night precipitated the early Monday morning drive-by shootings by rival local neighborhood gangs, said Tupelo Police Chief Jerry Crocker.

One of the groups reportedly fired into a house on Meadow Drive shortly after midnight Monday. About 2:30 a.m., the rival gang fired shots into a South Green Street apartment.

The Tupelo Police Special Operations Group, Juvenile Division and Detectives Division rounded up five suspects Thursday evening, Crocker said. Police seized a sawed-off shotgun, two pistols and ammunition.

S. Phillip Lowry, 18, of 1112 W. Jackson St.; Morio L. McClinton, 17, of 1321 Ida St.; Taurus O. Clay, 17, of 503 Henderson St. and Cedric A. Gregory, 16, of 2003 S. Green St., were charged with drive-by shooting. Bonds ranged from $15,000 to $25,000.

Marcus Kolheim, 20, of 1253 N. Green St., was charged with drive-by shooting, simple assault on an officer and misdemeanor disorderly conduct. His bond was set at $50,000, in part because he is currently under indictment on drug charges.

Police are still searching for four people on charges of drive-by shooting, including Steve Nichols, who is currently out on bond on a charge of shooting at his girlfriend and another person in the Shoney's parking lot.

Investigators believe more people were involved in the incidents, but those charged were either shooting or driving the cars, according to evidence developed by investigators.

Police investigators believe the same suspects were involved in a Friday drive-by shooting at the intersection of Clayton Avenue and Jackson Street. Investigators believe the Friday shooting was a case of mistaken identity; the shooters thought they were targeting members of a rival neighborhood gang.

Police have no evidence at this point connecting the early Monday morning shootings to a Tuesday incident on Magnolia Drive, where a resident found bullet holes in their house.

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