Two of four murder/burglary suspects in custody, two other ‘armed and dangerous’ suspects on run

Published 2:40 pm Monday, July 22, 2019

A Brookhaven man has been arrested on charges of capital murder in the shooting death of a woman who walked in on four intruders in her Mason Street home Saturday night. Another has been arrested in Jackson. That leaves two other men wanted in connection with the shooting and Brookhaven Police Chief Kenneth Collins says they should be considered armed and dangerous.

Adrian Smith was arrested at the Evers International Airport just before noon Monday, according to media sources. The Jackson Municipal Airport Authority said their police department captured Smith at 11:47 a.m. and he was turned over to U.S. Marshals.

Jatavious Berry, 19, of 900 Williams Street in Brookhaven, was arrested Sunday night and is in the Lincoln County jail.

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Several law enforcement agencies are working together to locate two other suspects — Shawan F. Allen, of Brookhaven, and Justin Anderson of Natchez. Anyone with information about their whereabouts is asked to call Brookhaven Police Department at 601-833-2424.

Lincoln County Coroner Clay McMorris identified the victim as 21-year-old Zariah Antel Newton. She was pronounced dead at King’s Daughters Medical Center shortly before midnight Sunday.

Collins said Newton and her boyfriend received an alert about 10:30 p.m. Saturday that someone was inside their home at 202 Mason Road.

“They got an alert and just went to their house. Police were not notified,” he said.

The couple confronted the four intruders and Newton was shot at the house. Her boyfriend was not injured, Collins said.

Police learned Sunday night that Allen had kidnapped his 17-year-old girlfriend in Copiah County where she lives as part of his escape plan.

“He went there, held her at gunpoint and tried to make her take him to Jackson,” he said.

Collins said Allen was located in Copiah County Sunday night by an off-duty officer who spotted a car being driven erratically.

“He turned around and blue-lighted it and at that point the vehicle accelerated at a high rate of speed,” Collins said.

The car nearly hit another vehicle head on. Collins said it is unclear who was driving.

During the pursuit, Allen tried to carjack a homeowner’s car. He held the man at gunpoint, the homeowner told him he didn’t have keys. Allen then escaped into the woods.

More than 30 officers from several agencies assisted in the search for Allen into Monday morning, but have been unsuccessful in capturing him.

Collins said they were joined in Copiah County by law enforcement officers from Crystal Springs, Mississippi Highway Patrol, U.S. Marshals, Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, Mississippi Bureau of Investigations and a tracker dog and an officer from Simpson County. Jackson law enforcement officers brought a drone with infrared tracking ability.

Collins said the two suspects still on the loose are considered armed and dangerous.

“We don’t want anyone stopping these people not knowing who they are and getting injured,” he said. “Just notify the police department if you see them. I’m urging all officers to use caution.”

Anderson, 24, is believed to be back in Natchez, where he lives.

He was acquitted by a Lincoln County jury in for first-degree murder in the 2017 shooting death of Billy Ray Thomas Jr. after 40 minutes of deliberations in a three-day trial. Thomas was killed in November 2017 as he was leaving the Oasis Club on South First Street.

They also came back with a verdict of not guilty for the aggravated assault charge against Anderson for the alleged shooting of Joshua Thomas, who was standing in front of his cousin as they exited the club that night.

Brookhaven police posted surveillance video taken inside Newton’s home that appears to show all four men, at least two with guns, searching through the house. The video shows wood flying as the door is broken as they enter the home. The four men rummage through the cabinets, look in the refrigerator and then walk off camera to look in other locations in the home.

If you have information, call Brookhaven Police Department at 601-833-2424 or Brookhaven/Lincoln County Crimestoppers at 601-823-0150.