Girl and boy, 1 and 9, shot and killed at Mississippi apartment complex, sheriff says

JONESTOWN, Miss. — Editor’s Note: The Coahoma County Sheriff’s Office originally identified the children as a 1-year-old boy and a 9-year-old girl. The sheriff’s office issued a corrected release, identifying the children as a 1-year-old girl and a 9-year-old boy.

Two children are dead after being shot by a man in North Mississippi, according to the Coahoma County Sheriff’s Office.

The sheriff’s office said that 25-year-old Marquez Griffin shot and killed a 1-year-old girl and a 9-year-old boy around 2 a.m. on Monday, January 9.

Melrose Halie, who told FOX13 that she is the grandmother of the 1-year-old, identified the baby girl as Averi Jones.

“That was my grandbaby,” said Halie. “She was only a year and a half, and now she’s gone. It’s nothing in this world that can take this pain away. Nothing.”

Authorities said an off-duty deputy heard a call go out about a child being shot at the Summit Garden Apartments apartments in Jonestown around 2 a.m. and immediately responded to the scene.

“I don’t understand,” Haile said. “Why would you do this? Why? That innocent baby. She’s innocent. She was just a baby. Why would he do this? Why would he take these children life like that?”

When that deputy got there, that deputy found Griffin holding a child at gunpoint, the sheriff’s office said.

Deputies were able to talk Griffin into dropping his weapon and that child was taken to safety but sadly the two other children were found shortly after, according to the sheriff’s office.

The sheriff’s office said one of those children died at the scene and the other died after being rushed to the emergency room in Clarksdale, Mississippi.

Griffin, from Arlington, Texas, has been charged with two counts of murder and two counts of aggravated assault.

Haile said she doesn’t know the accused gunman. She and other community members are trying to understand what lead to the gunfire.

“We called her Averi Baby,” she said. “She was a happy baby. Just to think that Christmas was the last time of seeing my grandbaby. I just want to hold her and tell her I love her one more time.”

A Coahoma County supervisor says if people in Jonestown or surrounding areas need counseling to contact him. People living there are asked to contact district 3 supervisor Derrell Washington. His number is (662) 645-3010.