Community hosts vigil for 19-year-old double homicide victim - - Jackson, MS

Community hosts vigil for 19-year-old double homicide victim

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(Source: WLBT) (Source: WLBT)
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JACKSON METRO AREA, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The Jackson community gathered Monday night for a candlelight vigil to remember the life of 19-year-old Jarvis Birtfield. He was shot and killed in a double homicide on Scott Street in Jackson on Jan. 19. Fifty-seven-year-old Percy King, a retired zookeeper, was also killed in that shooting.

Natasha Williams, Birtfield’s aunt said Birtfield’s death is another blow to their family as they had already been dealing with another death within the family.

“We really appreciate the outpouring of prayers and love, it’s just very hard,” said Williams  “We were just at the parade, the MLK parade, having fun. We’re very family oriented. It’s just a lot to take on.”

Williams said the young people in that community organized the vigil for the family, on the same street where the double homicide took place last week.

While reflecting on his life, Williams described Birtfield as the friendly kid in the neighborhood everyone knew.

“If he saw anything that was going on or saw kids that he knew or grew up with that were being bullied or somebody doing something to them, he was gonna help out.” Williams said.

Williams said the 19-year-old was trying to get his life together, working two jobs; one at McDonald's and another assisting King with his zookeeping business.

“He had been working with him for a while, all the neighborhood kids would be, but he knew him” added Williams. “They were getting ready for a show actually, a 2:00 p.m. show, when this happened and another for Saturday.”

Twenty-six-year-old Jamarrio Bell was arrested and faces 2 counts of murder in connection with this case.

Williams said her family is not sure why Bell shot at Birtfield and King.

“He didn’t even know him, he just knew Mr. Percy,” Williams said. “I don’t know if the man knew Mr. Percy but my nephew, we didn’t know him. We’ve never seen him before. I don’t even think he stays in this neighborhood.”

As the large crowd gathered for Birtfield's vigil, Williams said she hopes he’s remembered for being the loving and caring person he was. 

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