Shootings, standoff end with 5 dead, including suspected gunman in Biloxi hotel killings
BILOXI/GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - The five people dead in Wednesday’s shooting and standoff have been identified by the Harrison County coroner.
Coroner Brian Switzer identified the suspect in the case as 32-year-old Jeremy Alesunder Reynolds. Reynolds is believed to have killed three people at a Biloxi hotel Wednesday morning, leading to a four-hour standoff with Gulfport Police.
According to Gulfport Police, Reynolds barricaded himself inside the Canal Grocery convenience store near Canal and 28th Street. After hours of waiting, officers tear-gassed the building and went in to find Reynolds dead. Officials wouldn’t say how he died, only that he was found dead when officers went into the building.
Those who frequent the shop were shocked to have something like this happen so close to home.
“We always go to the store down there. We could’ve been one of the people, you know, held hostage. So, you just got to really be alert at all times because everything, it’s just not safe out here,” said area resident Anesha Price.
“You see this on TV. You do this on video games like Grand Theft Auto. This was like something really out of a movie,” said bystander Percy Robinson.
The shooting in Biloxi happened around 9 a.m. Wednesday at the Broadway Inn on Walmart Lane near Highway 90. Police said three people were killed at the hotel. A witness at the hotel described a chaotic scene with people fleeing the area. He heard the shots ring out and said he tried to help two of the victims, who he identified as the hotel owner and an employee. The third victim was a guest at the hotel.
WLOX spoke with the daughter of the hotel employee who said the violence started with an argument about money that escalated.
Switzer identified the victims found at the hotel as 51-year-old Mohammad Moeini, owner of the hotel; 61-year-old Laura Lehman, an employee and resident of the hotel; and 55-year-old Chad Green, who also lived and worked at the hotel.
Police believe the gunman left the hotel and then carjacked and assaulted another victim in Gulfport near Rio Grande Street. That person, a public works staffer contracted by the City of Gulfport, was shot and taken to the hospital. He later died in surgery. Switzer identified him as 52-year-old William Waltman.
On Wednesday afternoon, officials from law enforcement and local government in both Biloxi and Gulfport held a press conference to address the situation.
“For the community, we’ve had a tragic loss,” said Gulfport Mayor Billy Hewes. “For the city of Gulfport, we’ve lost one of our coworkers. Mr. Waltman was a contract employee with our Public Works department and provided a lot of leadership to our teams, and so there is a great devastation within that department and with all our city employees. Words don’t suffice for what we’re dealing with.”
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