LaReeca Rucker has been a journalist for more than 20 years, and her work has appeared in newspapers across the nation. She spent a decade as a features writer and multimedia journalist with The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi, where she was also a USA TODAY contributor. She is a freelance journalist and support journalism instructor in the University of Mississippi's Meek School of Journalism and New Media in Oxford, Mississippi.

Canton suffers another homicide

LaReeca Rucker
The Oxford Eagle

Canton Police have one suspect in custody charged with murder and are searching for another following the city's third shooting death of the year.

Police Chief Luke Gordon said Jeremy Luckett, 20, of Johnson Street was killed Tuesday on Northwest Street. Lt. Earl Taylor said police received the call at 11:53 p.m. and Luckett was taken to
University of Mississippi Medical Center.

Jemarcus Taylor, age 20, of Northwest Street, is in custody.

"We are pursuing arrests said Jones Gordon, "and we are questioning people today (Thursday). "We are seeking one more suspect at this time."

Gordon would provide no other information about the ongoing investigation, which is being handled by Taylor. The other two recent Canton shootings involved young adults and juveniles.

Just a few miles from the corner of Welch and Edwards streets where 19-year-old Hurley Archie died of multiple gunshot wounds June 4, Juan Contreras, 43, was shot and killed June 19 while sitting in his mobile home at 5 Westside Drive.

Four teenagers accused in the death of Contreras have been charged with murder and armed robbery. They are Jamail Clark, 13, of 221 E. Academy St.; Cortez Collins, 15, of 711 N. West St.; Mario Clark, 15, of 306 Roby Harris Drive; and Eddie Clark, 16, 320 Smith St.

Capital murder carries the death penalty, but Assistant District Attorney Randy Harris said only Eddie Clark could face that punishment. Because of their age, the other three, if convicted, would face a sentence of life without parole.

Garrick Lee and Lee Henry Tate, both 20, of Canton and both charged with murder following the death of Archie, were caught recently after eluding authorities for almost a month.

Lee was arrested in Selma, Alabama, and Tate was arrested approximately a week later in Jackson on July 3. Both had lengthy arrest records dating back to their teens.

During a recent town meeting at City Hall, Mayor Fred Esco and other city leaders attempted to make Neighborhood Watch programs the topic of discussion, hoping that residents would take an interest and implement the programs within their communities to fight crime.

Ward 5 Alderman Kenny Wayne Jones said he believes a Neighborhood Watch program and community involvement would benefit Canton.

"It would be a good idea because it might help avoid all of these tragedies that we have had over the last few months," he said. "These are just young men. I just feel like we are losing life for no reason at all."

Jones said he went to the hospital and met with some of Luckett's friends. "I met with all of their friends," he said. "I told them that I understood how they felt about losing their friend, but that this needs to stop right now."


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