WARNING: Details about the crime and incident below may be graphic or disturbing to some
A string of shootings in Brookhaven, Mississippi on Saturday night left eight people dead, including a sheriff’s deputy. A suspect is in custody according to The Washington Post, but police are saying it is “premature” to discuss a motive for the crimes. Police responded to a domestic disturbance call on Saturday night to a location in Brookhaven, about 55 miles south of Jackson Mississippi according to the Post. The shootings then took place across three different scenes according to The Clarion-Ledger:
Mississippi Bureau of Investigation spokesman Warren Strain, in a news release, said the shooting spree began at about 11:30 p.m. with a domestic call at 2871 Lee Drive in Bogue Chitto.
Four bodies — three females and the deputy — were recovered there. The second crime scene was located at 1658 Coopertown Road in Brookhaven. The bodies of two juvenile males were located there.
The third crime scene was located at 312 East Lincoln Road. A male and a female were recovered at that location.
The deputy killed in the shootings has been identified as 36-year-old William Durr according to The Daily Leader, the first Lincoln County officer to die in the line of duty. Reports also indicate that Durr was the first person killed by the suspect, who then proceeded to shoot the three females at the first property before driving to the later crime scenes.
Suspect tells me Lincoln Co. deputy was just in the way, and after all this he meant to commit suicide by cop. pic.twitter.com/ZebieSQkdR
— Therese Apel (@TRex21) May 28, 2017
The suspect has been identified as 35-year-old Willie Cory Godbolt according to The Clarion-Ledger, claiming to have gone to the home Bogue Chitto to discuss his children with his wife. Once police had been called to the scene, Godbolt reportedly started to shoot. Godbolt was arrested on Sunday morning after fleeing from police, complaining he had been shot and proceeding to give a startling confession to reporter Therese Apel with The Clarion-Ledger at the scene:
“My pain wasn’t designed for him. He was just there,” Godbolt said of the deputy. “We was talking about me trying to take the children home … somebody called the officer … that’s what they do, they intervene. It cost him his life. I’m sorry.”
When asked what’s next for him, Godbolt said, “Death … Suicide by cop was my intention. I ain’t fit to live. Not after what I’ve done.”
Godbolt was treated for his gunshot wound at the scene before being transferred to a Jackson, Mississippi hospital.
Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant issued a statement addressing the incident, calling it a tragedy and praising the law enforcement at the scene and the deputy who lost his life:
“Every day, the men and women who wear the badge make some measure of sacrifice to protect and serve their communities. Too often, we lose one of our finest. I thank the law enforcement agencies involved for their hard work,”
Those involved at the scene told The Clarion-Ledger that the shooting the “largest crime spree in Lincoln County history.”