Updated Feb 18, 2023 - World

6 dead in Mississippi town shooting, suspect arrested

Police tape is seen in a file photo. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Six people were fatally shot Friday in the rural Mississippi town of Arkabutla and a suspect has been taken into custody, according to local authorities.

Driving the news: Police have arrested and charged 52-year-old Richard Dale Crum of Arkabutla with first-degree murder "in connection with this case," the local sheriff's office said in a statement.

  • "Additional charges, for each of the other victims, will be filed in the coming days," per the Tate County Sheriff's Office. Crum is being held in county jail without bond.
  • "The investigation is ongoing and the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation has been asked to assist in the matter," the state's Public Safety Department said.

Details: Arkabutla is a small, unincorporated community located about 45 miles south of Memphis, Tenn.

  • "At this time, we believe he acted alone," Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said of the suspect. "His motive is not yet known."

Of note: A nearby elementary school and a high school were temporarily put on lockdown due to "an active shooter on the loose from Arkabutla," the Coldwater Elementary School wrote on its Facebook page.

  • The lockdown was lifted a short time later and all students and staff were deemed safe.
  • The Tate County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to Axios' request for information.

The big picture: This marks the third mass shooting in Mississippi so far this year, according to data from Gun Violence Archive.

  • The research group defines a mass shooting as a situation in which at least four people are shot and either injured or killed, not including the shooter.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with information from police about the suspect and charges.

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