October 20, 2020

Fourth murder suspect surrenders hours after alleged accomplice killed by police

The fourth man wanted by police for capital murder charges in the Saturday shooting death of a Brookhaven woman turned himself in late Monday night after a two-day man hunt that ended in the arrest of two other suspects and the killing of another by police.

Justin Anderson of Natchez surrendered to Adams County Sheriff’s Office deputies late Monday, Sheriff Travis Patten said.

“His mom brought him into the jail and he turned himself in without incident,” Patten said.

Anderson was recently acquitted in a 2017 nightclub shooting in Brookhaven, but was one of four men sought for killing Zariah Antel Newton in home burglary gone bad.

Brookhaven police quickly identified the suspects after home surveillance camera footage from inside the house clearly showed four men breaking in and rifling around in the house for several minutes.

Earlier in the day on Monday, suspect Shawan Allen died after he opened fire on officers entering a mobile home to arrest him near Wesson, about 40 miles south of Jackson, Copiah County Sheriff Harold Jones said.

“When you’re determined not to go with police when they knock on the door, then whatever happens, that’s on you,” Jones told reporters.

An officer who was shot in the back while wearing a bulletproof vest was taken to a hospital with what Jones described as a “welt” but was released after being examined.

Allen was one of four men wanted on capital murder charges in the Saturday shooting death of 21-year-old Zariah Antel Newton in nearby Brookhaven. Police say Newton was shot when she and her boyfriend returned home after getting a security alert and found their home being burglarized. Surveillance footage released by Brookhaven police shows men wandering around a darkened house, opening the refrigerator and cabinets.

Jatavious Berry was arrested in Brookhaven on capital murder charges, and Adrian Smith was arrested Monday at the Jackson-Medgar Evers International Airport.

Police agencies across southwest Mississippi had chased Allen for much of Sunday night and Monday. Brookhaven Police Chief Kenneth Collins said Allen forced his 17-year-old girlfriend to drive him to Jackson at gunpoint, only to be spotted by an off-duty Copiah County deputy because the girlfriend was driving erratically. Allen ran away after the woman wrecked, unsuccessfully demanding car keys at a nearby home.

As sheriff’s deputies combed the woods near Crystal Springs, Jones said, Allen stole a Copiah County government truck and later wrecked it on U.S. 51 near Wesson. Jones said that when a passer-by stopped to try to help him, Allen stole the man’s car at gunpoint.

Officials believed Allen had gone back to Brookhaven, but Jones said they were tipped that he was hiding in a mobile home near Wesson. The sheriff said deputies arrested a juvenile who falsely claimed Allen wasn’t present.

“That whole time that suspect was in that trailer back there and saw us, and knew we were coming, had time to barricade himself in that trailer, and when we came in there, he’s the one that initiated the firing sequence,” Jones said.

From staff reports and The Associated Press