By David Howell
North Mississippi Herald
COFFEEVILLE –Six people have been charged and additional arrests are expected in a shooting and arson case Wednesday evening as federal, state and local authorities continue to investigate what Sheriff Lance Humphreys is describing as a drug-related crime.
Humphreys reported multiple shots were fired by multiple suspects, with rounds striking a house, a vehicle and scattering almost 20 witnesses at the residence located on County Road 474, just outside Coffeeville. The shots prompted the homeowner to return fire, seriously injuring one of the shooters identified as Ken Reed, who was flown to the Med in Memphis. While deputies were pursuing the suspects Wednesday night, the sheriff said someone returned the home that night and torched it.
Humphreys said the suspects likely were making a statement about drugs or drug money and had “absolutely no regard for human life,” when they pulled up and opened fire.
Chavis Leland, Samuel Johnson, Corey A. Logan and Ken Reed each face eight counts of aggravated assault – manifesting extreme indifference to human life and eight counts of conspiracy to-wit aggravated assault.
Clarence Brown and Randy Tyrone Reed were also charged with one count of shooting into a dwelling house. Randy Reed is the brother of Ken Reed. Humphreys said the homeowner will not face charges as he acted in self-defense. The sheriff also said the homeowner had no connections to the alleged drug issue blamed in the conflict.
“Based on our investigation, we believe this stemmed from a possible drug related dispute involving a resident of the home and had nothing to do with the homeowner,” Humphreys explained.
The U.S. Marshals office is assisting in the search for Leland and Johnson, while officers have already arrested Brown, Randy Reed and Logan. Ken Reed remains in serious condition at the Med, according to the sheriff. A first appearance is scheduled for the three men in custody late Friday.
Sheriff Provides Details
Humphreys said the initial call came in just after 6 p.m. Wednesday, requesting an ambulance and deputies. He also explained that the four men facing 16 counts pulled up in the vehicle with Ken Reed stepping out and allegedly opening fire. Shortly afterwards, with many of the witnesses already scattered, Brown arrived on the scene, as did Randy Reed. Both men allegedly took pot shots at the house.
“This all happened within just a couple of minutes, we had a Coffeeville police officer on the scene within minutes, followed shortly by deputies,” Humphreys explained. The sheriff said his crew immediately started pursuing leads and looking for suspects and were still less than a mile from the residence when the house started burning around 9:12.
Humphreys said his department, assisted by other agencies, have worked around the clock on this case. Other agencies assisting include the Coffeeville Police Department, Mississippi Bureau of Investigation (MBI), Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics (MBN), the Mississippi Fire Marshal’s office, EMA director Frank Hyde, and the U.S. Marshals service.
District Attorney John Champion and Assistant District Attorney Steven Jubera also spent the day Thursday working with law enforcement on the case, helping document information for search warrants and compiling information for arrest warrants.
Humphreys said the public has also assisted in this case and he expects at least two or three additional arrests.
“There were more people involved in this. We are using technology to help us as we move forward in this investigation,” the sheriff told the Herald.