Article Comment 

Neighbor speaks out on Monday shooting





WEST POINT -- "They sounded like firecrackers," Joe McClenton of West Point remembered Thursday. 


McClenton had watched from his carport on Travis Street, Monday, as a West Point juvenile, Marcus Johnson, was shot. 


Johnson was recovering at North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo on Saturday. 


McClenton was first to Johnson''s side after the shooting. 


Johnson said "I don''t want to die. I don''t want to die," repeatedly, McClenton recalled. 


Johnson was walking from the direction of the post office on Kitty Bryan Dill Memorial Parkway when he was approached by two black juvenile males, McClenton said. 


One of the boys shouted to Johnson, "What now?!" McClenton said, and Johnson gestured with his arms out as if to accept the challenge. It was then that Johnson was shot; McClenton heard four shots fired from what he believes was a small-caliber handgun. 


Johnson was shot several times, but West Point Police Department Officer Mike Burgess did not know where he had been struck. Paramedics had stabilized him by the time Burgess arrived on the scene. 


One of the boys ran from the scene, but the other lingered for a few moments "as if he were waiting for a car," McClenton said, but he eventually fled on foot. 


Police continue to investigate the Monday shooting and are pursuing several leads. 


McClenton heard the shooting was in retaliation for an earlier altercation. 


Burgess last week declined to speculate on the motive until he interviewed the victim. 


"We really don''t know until we can talk to him," Burgess said, Wednesday. 


On Christmas Eve, the victim still was sedated at the Tupelo hospital and was unable to speak with authorities. 


Saturday, Johnson was intubated and still in the intensive care unit, but his condition was improving. 





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Reader Comments

Article Comment reysanford commented at 12/27/2009 11:35:00 AM:

Who are we referring to as these people.. Once again we only have a cloudy background of this whole story.. Be not first to judge. we don't know anything about any of the participants, only what is being reported. Once again the person that wrote the story is speculating in the story also. Not every kid is a derelict or a bad kid and not every kid or child conducts themselves as they were raised at home.before we blame parents or make any comments about anyone let get the whole story. Lets find out what happen,have these kids been in trouble before, are they from broken homes,are they part of gangs, are they good students, are they using drugs and then we can say what we have to say.


Article Comment William commented at 12/27/2009 8:11:00 PM:

"Once again the person that wrote the story is speculating in the story also."

What are you talking about? The story is simply a witness report. Where in the story did the reporter speculate?


Article Comment hopkins commented at 12/27/2009 9:05:00 PM:

I pray that the child is going to be ok. But as a society we need to judge not so quickly. We were not there, therefore we will never know the truth of what happen only what is being told to us. Think about what you say because these children could have been your own. As a whole we need to work to turn all our children in the right path.


Article Comment William commented at 12/28/2009 9:22:00 AM:

Where do you see a "judgement" in this story? This is a witness account.


Article Comment Barry commented at 12/28/2009 10:21:00 AM:

exactly william!!!!!!!! what are those other people talking about the reporter made no judgement at all!!! People get a grip!


Article Comment jmoney commented at 12/28/2009 11:19:00 AM:

this is sad kids shooting each other in facing life behind bars they should arrest whoever did this to this young man


Article Comment Concerned commented at 12/28/2009 11:26:00 AM:

Reysanford, what's all this talk about "speculating"? A kid was shot several times and a witness saw the whole thing happen. What's "cloudy" about that? Oh, I guess the kid shot himself and the witness or reporter is making this story up. Give me a freaking break!


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