"Very few times perpetrators of these crimes keep that information confidential. Usually somebody knows, it's just a matter of getting those individuals to bring that information to us," says Jackson Police Assistant Chief Lee Vance regarding murder cases in which arrests have not been made.
Right now, JPD investigators are working six of them for 2014.
James McAlister was gunned down at a mobile home park on Gertrude Drive on January 23. An unknown man caught on surveillance video shot Faiz Alkaizi as he worked behind the counter at P & N Grocery on February 9. Christopher Sheppard was shot in the head on North Alabama Avenue on February 27. Jesse Whitfield was shot outside the UPS building on McDowell Road on February 3. He died a few weeks later. Jerry Neal was discovered fatally shot in the chest in an apartment on Millsaps Avenue March 13. And earlier this week, Demario Johnson was shot and killed in his car at the Melrose Place Apartments on West Highland Drive.
Here's the problem.
"There's no suspect around, very little information to go on, and we have to start developing suspects from what we find at the crime scene," Chief Vance tells us.
There are also numerous unsolved murders from years past. 17 of the 56 murders in 2013 are unsolved (30%), like the October 17 fatal shooting of Ricky Smith at the Southdown Arms Apartments. These murders are considered whodunits, as opposed to smoking gun crimes.
Chief Vance urges any citizen with pertinent details to make the call to JPD or Crimestoppers.
"I can sum it up in one word, we need information," he tells us.
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