By John L. Pitts/NEMS Daily Journal
Devin Mitchell, 16, the leading receiver for Starkville High School’s football team in 2011, was shot and killed early Sunday in West Point.
A “person of interest,” Tavaris F. Collins, 31, is being held without bail at the Clay County Jail, West Point Police Chief Tim Brinkley said. Collins has not yet been charged.
“The motive is still under investigation,” Brinkley said, reading from a prepared statement. “We’re not releasing very much information at this time.”
It’s the second killing in the past two months in West Point, Brinkley said.
According to police reports, Clay County 911 received calls at 2:55 a.m. Sunday about gunshots fired at Ridgewood East Apartments at 1311 E. Main St.
When police arrived, they found the wounded Mitchell. He was transported by helicopter to North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo, where he died of his injuries.
Brinkley said Mitchell’s body has been sent to the state medical examiner in Jackson for autopsy.
Starkville went 12-3 last season, losing to Picayune 38-21 in the MHSAA Class 5A championship game. Mitchell, who played tight end and linebacker, led the Yellowjackets with 34 catches for 772 yards and 10 touchdowns.
“We throw the term ‘good kid’ around loosely, but Devin was that kid,” Starkville head coach Jamie Mitchell said Sunday afternoon. “He was a straight-A student, raised by a tremendous mom and dad, with a smile that would light up an entire room.
“My heart’s just broken for Devin’s family.”
Starkville played West point twice last season, losing 33-12 on Sept. 9 but winning 20-14 in a playoff rematch on Nov. 18. Mitchell ran 5 yards for a touchdown in that second game.
On the social media website Twitter, there was an outpouring of grief and recollections for Devin Mitchell, many including the hashtag “#32forever,” for his jersey number.
“I just hope I can be half the person Devin was,” wrote Jordan Allgood, a Starkville High School senior baseball player.
Funeral arrangements are pending.