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The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Joseph Tillman killed in Cotton District

Students+mourn+the+loss+of+Joseph+Tillman+at+a+memorial+site+near+the+location+he+was+killed.+The+cross+has+notes+to+commemorate+Tillman.%26%23160%3B
Taylor Bowden | The Reflector

Students mourn the loss of Joseph Tillman at a memorial site near the location he was killed. The cross has notes to commemorate Tillman.

 

A Mississippi State University student was killed Sunday morning at approximately 1:50 a.m. in the Cotton District.
Joseph Tillman, a senior marketing major, was confirmed dead by Michael Hunt, Oktibbeha County coroner who said his body was sent to Jackson for an autopsy.
Four arrests were made in the shooting death of Joseph Tillman which was related to an attempted robbery.
As stated in the press release from the Starkville Police Department, Jaylen M. Barker, 20, has been charged with murder with a $1 million bond. Jamario Pippins, 22, Tyler Harris, 16, and Brandon Sherrod,19, were charged with Murder, as an accessory, with a $500,000 bond each.
All were from Columbus/Lowndes County and transported to the Oktibbeha County Jail.
At a press conference regarding the shooting of Tillman, SPD Chief R. Frank Nichols said the suspects were apprehended in their vehicle after it matched the description sent out by the police department.
Nichols said Tillman interacted with the suspects before he was shot.
“From evidence we know Mr. Tillman chased one of the suspects towards Stagger In,” Nichols said. “After several yards, Mr. Tillman returned back to the location where the four suspects were still standing. We know based on evidence, that Mr. Tillman interacted for at least four additional minutes before the shot was fired. Based on evidence, at least one shot was fired and the suspect ran towards Stagger In.”
Barker, Pippins and Sherrod made their initial Municipal Court appearance last night. They are set to appear before court again on Dec. 8 at 2 p.m.
The courtroom was filled to capacity during their appearance. As the charges were leveled, many people were teary-eyed and after Barker’s charges were read a woman’s cries could be heard from outside the courtroom. 
After the three appeared before the court most of the room filed out and several people openly wept on the steps leading into the courthouse.  
Harris, as a juvenile, was legally released after his arrest and will appear in youth court. District Attorney Scott Colom said Harris has the potential to be brought to circuit depending on the evidence brought against him.
In the SPD press release, they said they are actively investigating the shooting of Tillman, who was from Schlater, Mississippi.  The press release said the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation crime scene unit was called in to process the scene and the U.S. Marshal Task Force, the Oktibbeha County Sheriff’s Office and the Mississippi State Police Department are assisting with the investigation.
At the press conference, Colom said the SPD and their partners are continuing the investigation of Tillman’s murder.
“We can’t bring charges based on speculation,” Colom said. “We can’t bring charges based on rumors. We have to bring charges based on evidence and the evidence at this time supports these charges and we look forward to working with the Starkville Police Department to see how the evidence develops. We are confident that they will do a thorough job.”
Starkville Mayor Parker Wiseman offered encouragement to the community and said the community should take pride in the work done by law enforcement agencies.
“This is a lot for our community to cope with right now,” Wiseman said. “We are not a community that is accustomed to dealing with such acts of violence nor do we plan on becoming such a community.”
Sid Salter, chief communication officer at MSU, released the following statement concerning the death of Tillman Sunday morning.
“The MSU family is shocked and grieving over the loss of our fine student senior marketing major Joseph Tillman of Schlater. We are grateful to local law enforcement for their swift action in this case and are fully cooperating with their investigation. Counseling services are available for MSU students who need that service. We have no other relevant information to share at this time.”
Salter said the university’s main focus is on the Tillman family, the Phi Delta Theta fraternity, and the MSU family as a whole.
“The university is preparing to arrange for additional counselors because a number of students have expressed need for that,” Salter said.
The MSU Student Association released this statement shortly after Salter on Sunday.
“The student body is grieving over the loss of one of our own students, senior marketing major Joseph Tillman.”
Students are encouraged to make use of counseling services provided by MSU.
For those interested, a visitation for Tillman will be held Wednesday, Nov. 9 5-7 p.m. at the Wilson & Knight Funeral Home in Greenwood, Mississippi, and a funeral service will be held Thursday, Nov. 10 at First Baptist Church in Greenwood, Mississippi.
 

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Joseph Tillman killed in Cotton District