Check cashing store employee gunned down in dispute www.privateofficer.com
Sema Hall, 63, of Moss Point, was at work at A&B Check Cashers on Main Street on Saturday afternoon along with another employee, Willie Williams, when the alleged shooter, identified as 56-year-old Marcus Harris, came inside.
Jackson County Coroner Vicki Broadus pronounced Hall dead at the scene. Williams, 74 and a former candidate for a Moss Point alderman seat, was taken to Singing River Hospital, where he underwent surgery Saturday night. His condition was not immediately known.
While police officers were at the scene at Main Street’s Southgate Mall, Moss Point Police detective Joycelyn Craig said Harris’ sister brought him to the police department to surrender. He was charged with one count each of murder and aggravated assault and jailed in Moss Point pending a bond hearing.
Police responded to the shooting shortly before 2 p.m. It’s believed Hall was either a current or former employee of the store, though Craig said Saturday night police were still trying to confirm that information.
“We don’t know exactly what led to the shooting,” Craig said. “It was like (Harris) was talking with them, and then there was a shooting. We don’t know what led to the shooting.”
Clausell’s business and another store, Creative Tee’s, are in the same shopping center, with Byrd’s Music & Deli in a building behind the check-cashing store.
Just prior to the killing, James Winters, owner of Byrd’s Music & Deli, said he saw Harris pull up to his store in a pickup, though he was closed for the day. Winters said he was watching his security cameras when Harris walked up and tried to come inside.
“He pulled on the door,” Winters said. “I don’t know what his intentions were. I didn’t know if he was trying to rob me or what. I’m glad I didn’t let him in.”
From there, Winters saw the suspect drive over to the side of the check-cashing business, park and get out.
Minutes later gunshots left Hall dead and Winters seriously injured, though conscious.
Several residents gathered at the store to see what happened.
Former Moss Point Alderman Shorty Middleton and Hall’s fiancee, Phyllis Owens of Ocean Springs, were among those at the scene. Middleton described Williams as a “hardworking businessman promoting business in Moss Point.
“I wish people would start thinking about the consequences of what they do,” he said. “This man (Hall) can’t get his life back.”
Owens said Hall had surprised her with a proposal on her birthday earlier this month.
“He was just a kind, soft-spirited, soft-spoken man (who) always had a smile as long at the Mississippi River,” she said. “He was a beautiful person. I was so looking forward to spending the rest of our lives together.”
Hall had been working at the store for about two years, she said.
Witnesses indicated Harris was in a dispute over money, though details were sketchy.
Winters said Harris would come to eat at his deli a couple of times a week. He said he had no reason to believe Harris was capable of such violence.
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