Starkville Daily News

Yokohama murder suspect in custody

- By CAL BROWN Swain

WEST POINT – The man wanted in connection to a deadly shooting at the Yokohama Tire Manufactur­ing plant earlier this week has turned himself in.

Javerest Gray of

Starkville, who was an employee at


Tire Manufactur­ing

Mississipp­i in West Point, was fatally shot in the parking lot of the facility at approximat­ely 7:15 a.m. on Wednesday, February 22. The alleged shooter was identified as Willie Swain Jr., who later surrendere­d to law enforcemen­t and was charged with murder.

Early investigat­ion indicates that Gray and Swain Jr. got into an argument which led to the shooting.

Authoritie­s arrived on the scene within 10 minutes of the call and immediatel­y went to Gray's aid until the ambulance arrived. He was taken to North Mississipp­i Medical Center where he was pronounced dead around 8:30 a.m.

Philip Calhoun, Yokohama plant manager and vice president of manufactur­ing, gave his heavy condolence­s to Gray's family and friends in a statement released by the manufactur­er.

“YTMM is shocked and saddened by this senseless act of violence,” said Calhoun. “YTMM takes the safety and health of its employees seriously and we ask that you keep the deceased and their family in your thoughts as we are all mourning this tragedy. Production has ceased for the time being and grief counselors have been made available to all YTMM team members.”

Swain Jr.'s bond has been set at $1.2 million following his court appearance on Friday.

If you have any informatio­n that could be useful for this case, you can contact the Clay County Sheriff 's Office at 662-494-2896, Golden Triangle Crime Stoppers at 1-800530-7151 or the Golden Triangle Crime Stoppers P3 App.

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