8 dead in Mississippi shooting spree, suspect in custody

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A man went on a shooting spree after a domestic incident in Lincoln County in Mississippi, killing eight people at three different locations, local officials say. A sheriff’s deputy is among those killed in the shootings.

The incident began on early Sunday morning when a deputy responded to a home on Lee Drive in the small community of Bogue Chitto, where a resident called police for someone who was refusing to leave the property.

After a deputy arrived at the home, the suspect opened fire, killing the deputy and three others before fleeing the scene. A second shooting occurred on Coopertown Road in the city of Brookhaven, where two people were killed. Two other people were killed in a third shooting elsewhere in Brookhaven.

The shooting spree ended when a local resident shot the suspect on East Lincoln Road, near the scene of the third shooting, according to the Clarion-Ledger newspaper. A 16-year-old boy who was taken hostage at some point was released or freed without injuries.

The suspect, who has been identified as 35-year-old Willie “Cory” Godbolt, was taken into custody and treated for a gunshot wound. He was not seriously injured and confessed to the shootings in an interview with Clarion-Ledger reporter Therese Apel, saying he didn’t intend to kill the deputy.

“We was talking about me taking my children and [unintelligible] I was having a conversation with her step-daddy and her momma, and her, my wife, about me taking my children home,” he said. “Somebody called the officer, people that didn’t even live at the house. But that’s what they do, they intervene. That cost him his life, I’m sorry.”

Godbolt added that it was his intention to be shot and killed by police, but said he ran out of bullets. “I ain’t fit to live. Not after what I’ve done,” he told the newspaper while in handcuffs on the side of a road.

The deputy who was killed in the shooting has been identified as 36-year-old William Durr. There was no immediate word on the identities of the other victims, though one relative said they include a husband and wife.

“I ask all Mississippians to join Deborah and me in praying for those lost in Lincoln County,” Governor Phil Bryant said in a statement. “Every day, the men and women who wear the badge make some measure of sacrifice to protect and serve their communities. Too often, we lose one of our finest.”

Bryant added: “I thank the law enforcement agencies involved for their hard work. May the peace of the Almighty wash over those hurting after this senseless tragedy.”

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