Family identifies teen killed in Bay St. Louis mass shooting
BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. (WVUE) - A Mississippi coastal community is in mourning after a mass shooting at a prom after-party left two teens dead and four others injured early Sunday morning (April 30).
Police arrested alleged shooter Cameron Everest Brand, 19, at his home in Pass Christian. Brand was booked with two counts of homicide and four counts of aggravated assault, and is being held without bond.
Police say the shooting happened around 12:34 a.m., at a house in the 1000 block of Old Blue Meadow Road.
A family member identified one of the deceased as 18-year-old De’Arreis Smith, a senior at Hancock High School.
“Tuesday, he’s scheduled to go take the military test. You know, he had plans and goals for his future,” said Smith’s grandmother, Jacqueline Gordon. “Now, all that is taken away because of these senseless shootings.”
Gordon says Smith was at the party with friends. He was expected to graduate from Hancock within weeks.
Police said a 16-year-old also was killed and four other teens were wounded in the shooting. The victims ranged in age from 15 to 18 years old.
Four of the six victims were transported by ambulance or Life Flight helicopter to trauma center hospitals in New Orleans and Slidell, but Smith and the 16-year-old victim died from their injuries at University Medical Center, Bay St. Louis police said.
“He couldn’t talk, he was unresponsive,” Gordon told Fox 8 sister station WLOX of Smith. “His head was wrapped up. He had tubes all in him. But he couldn’t talk. He didn’t know I was there.”
Many students and families gathered early Sunday evening at the Washington Street Pier for a vigil.
A store clerk in Bay St. Louis says Brand came around regularly, most recently a week before the shooting.
“He was with a couple of friends, just cutting up. Teenage stuff. Boys playing around,” said the clerk. “I mean, to me he was polite, fun, nobody knew anything else. That’s what I knew about him.”
Gordon wants justice for her grandson’s life.
“It’s just such senseless stuff, with these shotguns and these guns these kids are carrying, and all these mass shootings,” Gordon said. “We just really want to bring some awareness to this and not let it get swept under the rug.”
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