Gunman kills six including ex-wife and stepfather in Mississippi. In a tragic incident, a lone gunman identified as Richard Dale Crum killed six people, including his ex-wife and stepfather, in multiple shootings in rural northern Mississippi. The shootings took place on Friday in the tiny community of Arkabutla, leaving investigators searching for clues to what motivated the shocking rampage.
Armed with a shotgun and two handguns, the 52-year-old Crum opened fire at around 11 a.m. and killed a man in the driver’s seat of a pickup truck parked outside a convenience store in Arkabutla, near the Tennessee state line, according to Tate County Sheriff Brad Lance. Deputies were working the crime scene when a second 911 call alerted authorities to another shooting a few miles away.
After arriving at a home, they found Crum’s ex-wife shot dead and her current husband wounded. Deputies caught up with Crum outside his own home and arrested him. Behind the residence, they found two handymen slain by gunfire — one in the road, another in an SUV. Inside a neighboring home, they discovered the bodies of Crum’s stepfather and his stepfather’s sister.
“Everybody has crime, and from time to time we have violent crime, but certainly nothing of this magnitude,” Lance said in an interview. He added: “Without being able to say what triggered this, that’s the scary part.”
Crum was jailed without bond on a single charge of capital murder, and Lance said investigators were working to bring additional charges. It was not immediately known if Crum had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.
The killings stunned residents of Arkabutla, home to 285 people and located about 30 miles south of Memphis, Tennessee. An elementary school and a high school in nearby Coldwater both went on lockdown while the suspect was being sought, according to the Coldwater Elementary School Facebook page.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said its agents were providing assistance to the sheriff’s department and state investigators. Lance said one of their top priorities was to determine a motive.
The shootings are the first mass killing in the U.S. since Jan. 23, which saw the last of six in a three-week period, according to an Associated Press/USA Today database. President Joe Biden urged Congress to act now on gun law reforms to address what he called “an epidemic” of gun violence.