UPDATE: Suspect identified after fatal Lee County shooting

Lee County investigators have identified a suspect from last Friday’s fatal shooting in the Palmetto community.

Posted: Dec 10, 2018 3:30 PM
Updated: Dec 10, 2018 10:44 PM

TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - Lee County investigators have identified a suspect from last Friday’s fatal shooting in the Palmetto community.

The suspect is identified as Latavious Betts, 17, of Verona.

Betts is currently out on bond and under indictment for first-degree murder and drive-by shooting from a previous incident in Verona.

“We want the general public to know that the individual who did the shooting and the individual that was shot were acquaintances, they knew each other,” said Sheriff Jim Johnson during Monday's news conference.

He's now wanted by the Lee County Sheriff's Department for murder and aggravated assault for the December 7 incident.

On that day at approximately 3 p.m., Lee County deputies responded to County Road 45 for a report of a drive-by shooting. They found a house riddled with bullets.

RELATED: Deputies respond to Lee County shooting 

Eight people were inside the house at the time of the shooting. Four of those people were injured.

One victim died as a result of a gunshot. That victim was identified as Annie Walton, 66.

The second victim was rushed to North Mississippi Medical Center for surgery. That person’s current condition is unknown.

A third victim was treated for a gunshot wound to the arm.

The fourth victim received treatment for an injury received from shrapnel.

Investigators say a dark-colored vehicle passed in front of the targeted home. Several individuals were inside the vehicle.

That’s when multiple shots were fired into the home.

“It is believed that no one exited the vehicle during the shooting and all the shots were fired from within the vehicle,” stated Lee County Sheriff Jim Johnson.

The occupants and their vehicle then left the area.

Later that day at approximately 9 p.m., investigators placed four persons-of-interest into custody for questioning.

The four were later cleared and released from custody.

Sheriff Johnson says this incident was an isolated, targeted attack.

“The investigation has revealed that the shooter and a person inside the home were acquaintances."

Anyone with information about Betts’ whereabouts is asked to contact the Lee County Sheriff’s Department at 662-841-9040.

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