UPDATE: Suspect identified in shooting of beloved zookeeper and - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

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UPDATE: Suspect identified in shooting of beloved zookeeper and Jackson teen

Source: JPD Source: JPD
Percy King.....Soutce: Facebook Percy King.....Soutce: Facebook
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Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The Jackson Police Department has now identified a suspect involved in the shooting of two men, including a retired zookeeper, on Scott Street on Friday. 

26-year-old Jamarrio Bell has been charged with two counts of murder in the deaths of 19-year-old Jarvis Birtfield and 57-year-old Percy King.

Sgt. Rodrick Holmes said Saturday that the motive is not known and investigators have not determined whether one or both of the victims were the suspect's intended target.

Bell remains in custody and is awaiting an initial court appearance.

King was a zookeeper at the Jackson Zoo from 1997-2011 and served as a member of the Jackson Zoo Board starting in 2017.

The Jackson Zoo sent this statement on the tragedy: 

The Jackson Zoological Society Board and Jackson Zoo staff wishes to express their deepest condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Percy King.

He dedicated his life to being a liaison between humans and wildlife in the Jackson Community, encouraging all ages to face and even overcome fears and prejudices regarding animals with an educational focus.

He served as both a Jackson zookeeper from 1997 to 2011, and as a member of the Jackson Zoo Board starting in 2017, willingly sharing his knowledge and experience with his peers and officials for the benefit of his neighborhood, community, and state. Many will remember him as "The Snake Man," as well as his love for all creatures, but especially elephants.

The remaining board, staff, and families are shocked and saddened by his untimely passing. We endeavor to keep his legacy intact, and our thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones as they search for solace, and hopefully eventual peace.

The shooting happened just before 12:30 p.m. in the 500 block of Scott Street. When police responded, they found two men dead.

Police say a witness saw the shooting unfold and held the suspect at bay until officers took him into custody.  A handgun believed to have been used in the crime was also recovered.

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