Tupelo mayor says community helped police nab suspect

By Danza Johnson/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Mayor Jack Reed said Monday’s arrest of a man accused of killing two people Sunday night was the result of good police work and teamwork with the community.
Police arrested Maurice D. Harris, 42, Monday morning and charged him with two counts of capital murder for the shooting deaths of Jerry White, 35, and O’Neal Collier, 39, in a parked car on Linden Hill Street on Sunday night.
During a press conference held with Police Chief Tony Carleton and Deputy Police Chief Robert Hall, Reed assured the community that the murders and an armed robbery at Papa John’s on Tuesday were not a part of a bigger crime problem.
“It’s rare to have a homicide in Tupelo and very rare to have a double homicide but police responded quickly and apprehended the suspect,” said Reed. “I’m proud of how quickly this situation was handled and the citizens can feel sure that things are under control.”
In dealing with his first major crime as chief, Carleton said he was glad to see all the divisions working together as a team to catch the suspect.
Hall agreed.
“This shows that we have a professional department with professional leadership and a community that is willing to help solve crimes,” said Hall.
Despite having the murders, at least two armed robberies and a grand larceny all over the past three weeks, Carleton said there is no indication that crime is on a dramatic rise.

Contact Danza Johnson at (662) 678-1583 or danza.johnson@djournal.com.