By Josh Troy
The investigation of the fatal shooting on West Second Street in Clarksdale, which occurred a little before 5 p.m. on Monday, has been turned over to the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation.
Cornelius “CJ” McGee Jr., 15, was fatally shot on the 1200 block of West Second Street, and the Clarksdale Police Department and Coahoma County Sheriff’s Office were on the scene. The area was roped off for several hours.
Clarksdale Police Department officials declined to comment on the shooting but did confirm that the investigation was turned over to the MBI.
“We can’t really give much information with it being an ongoing investigation. We are actually gathering information from a shooting that occurred in Clarksdale, Miss., on Monday, May 22, 2023,” said MBI Press Secretary Bailey Martin.
The MBI report lists Andrew Bankhead, 56, a recently retired Clarksdale Police Department officer, as being involved in the incident.
The fatal shooting of McGee came after 14 victims were shot in three areas of town on Sunday morning.
None of the shootings on Sunday morning were fatal.
Multiple shots were fired, hitting 12 victims on the 300 block of Delta Avenue at around 2:45 a.m. Sunday, and it was believed to be gang-related.
Another victim was shot on West Second Street shortly after the incident on Delta Avenue.
A third shooting occurred on Friars Point Road near Florida Avenue during the early hours of Sunday morning.
The Clarksdale Police Department is investigating all three shootings separately. It has not been determined if the three shootings on Sunday were connected.
City Chaplain John Givins addressed the recent shootings in Clarksdale on Monday night.
“At this point, we’re just praying for the City of Clarksdale and the violence that’s been taking place in the last few days in Clarksdale,” he said. “But we do know that even in the midst of all the violence, turmoil, and shootings in the City of Clarksdale, God is still in control. And we must continue to pray for our city, continue to pray for the families of Clarksdale, that this storm will soon move out of the City of Clarksdale.”
Givins cited Luke 18:1 from the Bible, saying that man should always pray.
“We’ve got to continue to pray for our city, continue to pray for our families, and, most of all, continue to pray for our young people,” he said. “And as we move forward in this city, we’ve got to keep empowering the young people to realize it’s not how they start. It’s how they finish. They can finish well.”
Givins said he did speak with McGee’s mother, Jacqueline Rash.
“I went by and prayed for the family this afternoon,” Givins said. “I also told her that the City of Clarksdale, along with the mayor and commissioners, will be supporters as much as we can for that family. Again, we want to pray for that family. She lost a son, CJ.”
Givins encouraged everyone to also remember the victims who were shot on Sunday morning.
“We need all your prayers,” he said. “We need all your support, but most of all, we need the Lord to continue to shine in the City of Clarksdale.”
Givins announced that a Stop the Violence concert will be held at Pleasant Valley Baptist Church at 6 p.m. on August 27. He is working to put together an empowerment program for the youth in the City of Clarksdale and is asking for support and help so that the youth can move forward and have a brighter future.
“We’re asking citizens of Clarksdale and surrounding areas to come and be a part of that,” he said. “Come and join me, along with some of the other pastors in our city, as we come together to stop the violence and support one another.”
Anyone interested in sponsoring the concert can contact Givins at Pleasant Valley Baptist Church at (662) 624-2061.