Three teenagers charged in murder

Published 10:14 am Sunday, October 13, 2019

Two Natchez men are being charged with murder in the Oct. 4 shooting death of Scottie Rodgers, Natchez Police officials said.

A third man is charged with accessory before the fact.

Jeremiyah Clark, 18, and Jalin Johnson, 17, are both charged with murder in the Oct. 4 shooting death of Scottie Rodgers. Both men also face aggravated assault charges for assaulting another individual, Natchez Police Chief Walter Armstrong said.

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A third man, Zakya Jones, 18, is charged with accessory before the fact, Armstrong said.

The three men were arrested Friday in a joint operation of the Natchez Police Department and the Adams County Sheriff’s Office’s Special Response Team, Armstrong said.

No bonds had been set as of Saturday morning and the three men were being held in the Adams County Jail.

Officers learned of the shooting, Armstrong said, at approximately 11:30 p.m. Oct. 4 when two people with gunshot wounds drove themselves to the emergency room of Merit Health Natchez. The shooting is believed to have occurred earlier that night in the vicinity of Fraser Street in Natchez, Armstrong said.

A female victim was transported to the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson and a male victim, Rodgers, was pronounced dead on the scene of his injuries, Armstrong said.

Armstrong would not elaborate on any suspected motive for the crime.

“Drugs were involved,” Armstrong said. “Drugs played a role in this whole ordeal. We’re not sure if the drugs caused it, but they were present.”

Armstrong said he is saddened to see such young people involved in such crimes.

“It caused someone to lose their life and ruin their own lives,” Armstrong said. “Particularly, our young males seem to be the ones who make those decisions. I hope other young men will learn from what these young men did and not go down same path.”

Armstrong commended the Investigative Bureau of the Natchez Police Department.

“They worked really hard from the time they came out that Friday night, and they stayed on top of it,” Armstrong said. “They put in long hours until we were able to bring it to a close.”

Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten also commended investigators on the case.

“The NPD Investigators did a great job leading this investigation, and our investigators did a great job assisting them,” Patten said. “With great team efforts like this, we certainly believe that we can rid the community of this criminal element and get our young teens and adults back on track to where they see the value of life again.

“Everyone’ loses when a crime like this happens, including the generation that never got a chance to be great because of a senseless act like this. My heart goes out to the family that lost their loved one, but it’s going to take the community being fully bought in to ending these types of crimes in order to break the vicious cycle.”