Two arrested, charged in deadly Fortification Street red light s - - Jackson, MS

Two arrested, charged in deadly Fortification Street red light shooting

NIcholas Coats and Lidarius Dixon - Source: JPD NIcholas Coats and Lidarius Dixon - Source: JPD
Source: WLBT archives Source: WLBT archives
Source: WLBT archives Source: WLBT archives
Source: WLBT archives Source: WLBT archives
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Jackson Police believe they have made a big break in the murder case of a 23-year-old restaurant server murdered at a traffic light on Fortification Street. 

Twenty-one-year-old Nicholas Coats and 19-year-old Lidarius Dixon are in custody in connection with the shooting death of Chelsie Lynn Kirschten. 

Chelsie Kirschten was at the intersection waiting at the stop light when she was shot and killed, leaving a family heartbroken and a community in fear.

On Thursday, August 17 at 11:48 pm, Kirschten was shot while in the driver seat of her white Pontiac G6. She was shot once in the upper back and pronounced dead on scene. 

During the course of the investigation, it was learned that the victim and a front seat passenger were stopped at a traffic light on Fortification St. near State St. waiting for it to change. Police say the suspect approached from the driver side armed with a silver handgun.

He fired a single gunshot through the front driver side window, striking the victim. He then ran off on foot.

Police say the car then continued down Fortification St. before coming to a final rest near I-55.

RELATED: Woman shot to death at traffic light on Fortification St.

RELATED: Balloon release held for 23-year-old shot and killed at stoplight

While the motive is still a mystery, residents are pleased two suspects are now off the streets. 

"We need to be able to feel safe to run our errands and do the things we need to do for our families," said resident Misty Newman. 

Those who live, shop and work near the intersection where Chelsie Lynn Kirschten was brutally murdered say they have been hoping and praying police would catch the men who did it.

Tuesday, their prayers were answered.

"When it initially happened, people were very nervous," said Jackson resident Anthony Scarborough. "There was a lot of speculation about who, when and where and why, and I think that, and I think now since there has been an arrest, it will bring some closure."

Chief Lee Vance says it was tips from the community that helped police catch Nicholas Coats and put him behind bars for murder. 

Hours later, police said 19-year-old Lidarius Dixon turned himself in to police for shooting into an occupied vehicle. 

"Information from the community is the lifeblood of any investigation and it played out that way in this particular case," said Vance. 

Chief Vance wouldn't say if the suspects know the victim.

"I could say, but I am not going to say," said Vance.

In the initial investigation, police said it appeared to be a random act of violence. The motive behind the killing is still under investigation. 

"We don't want to start drawing conclusions until we know we have all the facts and right now we don't believe we have all the facts," said Vance. "But we do believe we made good arrests. As for drawing conclusions or making public declarations for a motive, that is still very premature."

Many Jackson residents say although the motive is still a mystery, they agree the murder was senseless.

"Just say that there is so much violence now and a lot of it involves innocent people," said Jackson resident Judy Madlock.

Anyone with any information regarding this case is urged to contact the Jackson Police Department at 601-960-1234 or 601-355-TIPS (8477).

RELATED: Woman killed at traffic light described as hardworking and humble

Nicholas Coats bond was set at $200,000. 

We will update this story and more information becomes available.

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