By Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal
HOLLY SPRINGS – Marshall County authorities issued arrest warrants Tuesday for two individuals related to the Christmas morning drive-by shooting that left a 16-year-old girl dead and several others injured.
They also are investigating the possible roles of two other potential suspects.
Cory Albright, aka Cory Morris, 31, of 3490 Knox Road, Rossville, Tenn.; and Rico R. Fleming, aka Rico Pool, 22, of 3595 Price Road, Moscow, Tenn., are each charged with murder and four counts of aggravated assault.
The shooting killed Derica Patterson and wounded Darius Gross, Derrick Patterson, Tyrone Guy and Marcus Morris, all of whom Marshall County Sheriff Kenny Dickerson said were from the Memphis area.
The shooting occurred when a car pulled alongside a Mercury Grand Marquis in which the victims were traveling on U.S. Highway 72 west of Slayden around 3 a.m. Sunday. The suspects allegedly opened fire with rifles, firing more than a dozen bullets into the Mercury. Only one of the injured agreed to be taken to a hospital, and has since been released from care.
“We believe that Fleming and Albright were on the front seat,” Dickerson said. “To a high degree of certainty, we believe both fired weapons into the car.”
Police said one or more individuals from each group may have been in a dispute at a club just east of Slayden before the shooting.
“People from everywhere come there – Memphis, Booneville, Hardeman County,” said Vickii Dennis Seid 12/27/11 spelling is CQ Carpenter, who owns Slayden Travel Center and keeps security personnel to handle an influx of customers from the club around 2 a.m.
“The worst thing about it is, those are underage kids, and they’re not supposed to be there – and that goes back to the parents,” she said.
Cassandra Smith, who lives near Slayden, agreed.
“Young children should be at home that time of night,” she said. “It wouldn’t have happened if she had been at home.”
Smith said the shooting will make her less willing to go out at night.
A man from Memphis who’d stopped at the store Tuesday afternoon said the shooting was a tragedy but all too common.
“It happens every day in Memphis. We don’t think much of it anymore,” he said.
Warrants were being considered Tuesday afternoon for two additional people who authorities believe were riding in the back seat of the vehicle and may have been involved.
Dickerson said Albright and Fleming are believed still to be in the Mid-South area. He urges their friends and relatives to encourage both suspects to surrender peacefully to either Mississippi or Tennessee authorities.
“We have a pretty good idea where they are … and they know their way to the police station,” he said.