BROOKHAVEN, Miss. (AP) — A man shot the owners of a house where he was living and their children, killing the homeowner and his 9-year-old daughter and leaving the wife and two other children in critical condition, police said.
The bloody survivors crossed a usually busy two-lane highway to ask for help, said neighbors who called 911 after waking early Friday to find the mother and two children at their door.
"It was like out of a horror movie," said Donna Davis, 39. "I still see that little girl's face in my mind."
Police said Jermaine Sims, 31, and his younger daughter died later Friday morning. His 29-year-old wife, Victoria, and their 6-year-old son and 14-year-old daughter survived but were in critical condition, Capt. Clint Earls said. Police did not release the children's names.
Jimmy Lyons, 32, lived in the Sims' home and is accused of shooting the family, Earls said. He said Jermaine Sims and Lyons had argued, but he did not know what the argument was about.
Earls said there don't appear to have been any other witnesses.
"The only thing we are waiting on is getting some of the victims in well-enough health to where they can shed some light on what caused the incident to erupt," Earls said.
Police said a call about 12:20 a.m. brought police to the neighbors' home, where they found Victoria Sims and two children outside, wounded. Inside the Sims' home they found Lyons, who was not injured, and Jermaine Sims and the 9-year-old.
Earls said Lyons faces two counts of murder and three of aggravated assault. He was in the Lincoln County jail.
Linda Davis, 65, John Davis, 41, and Donna Davis said they did not understand what had happened or who did what at the Sims' house because so many people were talking at once before an ambulance arrived.
The shootings took place in an area about a mile south of downtown Brookhaven: inside city limits but rural in nature, its large yards studded with pine trees.
Donna and John Davis and their 10-year-old daughter, Heaven, live in a white-and-beige trailer home. John Davis' mother, Linda Davis, lives in a small cream-colored house next door.
Both are located across the highway, about 100 yards away, from the Sims' brown, wood-frame house.
The Davises said they often saw the children getting on and off the school bus or riding bicycles in the yard, but did not know their neighbors.
Donna Davis said that when she answered her door, someone kept saying, "We've been hit." There was so much blood, she said, that she thought they had been hit by a car.
"The little boy, he was half under the porch like he was trying to hide from someone. He was screaming for help," she said, pointing to the rickety-looking wooden steps leading to the trailer door.
At one point, Linda Davis said, he reached up to his face and said, "Oh, half my ear is gone."
John Davis said the boy's wounds included cuts on his face, as if he'd been attacked with a knife.
Donna Davis said that, while they waited for an ambulance, she hugged the girl to keep her warm.
"She kept saying, 'I want my mama,'" Donna Davis said.
Associated Press Writer Bill Fuller contributed to this report.