Police charge two in drive-by shooting, another for hit and run

Cordale Porter and Tesa Cook, left, and Calvin Lucas
October 15th, 2020     Featured General News

New Albany police arrested suspects in a drive-by shooting and a vehicular assault this week that each could easily have resulted in deaths.

The first incident, the shooting, occurred at 903 Honeysuckle Drive in the Colonial Gardens Subdivision shortly before 5 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 13.

Police Chief Chris Robertson said they received a 911 call as well as calls from multiple others about shots being fired.

“Several people were out in the yard and witnesses said a silver Mitsubishi SUV with a Texas rental tag drove by and shots were fired,” he said. “Multiple officers were dispatched and they encountered the vehicle on Main Street near Fred’s and Tallahatchie Gourmet.”

Again, several officers were on the scene. “They were able to get a black male and female out of the vehicle safely and while officers were searching the vehicle a semi-automatic handgun was visible,” Robertson said.

Tesa R. Cook, 27, of Union County, was charged as an accessory to drive-by shooting. Her bond was set at $15,000.

Cordale Robert Porter, 29, of Potts Camp, was charged with drive-by shooting and possession of a firearm by a felon. His bond was set at $100,000 for the shooting and $10,000 for the firearm possession.

It was not known what the relationship between the two suspects was.

The chief said some other aspects of the case are still not clear as well but it may have sprung out of a family dispute. “Some family members were living close together and this guy (Porter) was friends with one of the family members,” Robertson said.

It appeared the shots may have been intended as intimidation but the chief noted that the group contained children as well as adults. “It’s fortunate nobody was hit,” he said. Several shell casings were recovered at the scene.

In fact, the suspect had been convicted of killing someone in a similar circumstance eight years ago. While he was firing shots outside a home, one went through a wall killing a woman.

In 2012, Porter was convicted in Benton County of culpable manslaughter for shooting into the dwelling and sentenced to serve 17 years in prison with seven years probation after that.

Porter was convicted in 2019 of possession of a firearm by a felon as well.

The chief noted that Porter obviously had been released after serving no more than seven years, if that much, out of a 17-year sentence, and in fact apparently was still free without posting bond on the latter charge after the Mississippi Department of Corrections picked him up.

“I understand the need for some prison reform but this type person being out on the street is completely unacceptable,” Robertson said. The New Albany department is moving to have Porter’s previous bond revoked so this time he will remain incarcerated until trial.

 

The second case was reported at 12:36 p.m. Wednesday as officers were still investigating the drive-by shooting nearby.

“We got a call at 707 Shady Grove Road that a subject had been hit by a car and the car left,” Robertson said.

Officers arrived to find the victim was a developmentally disabled vulnerable adult. “He was on the ground, sitting in the street,” Robertson said. It was determined that the victim had actually been struck hard enough to knock him into a window in a nearby home.

“The fire chief showed up and helped us with medical treatment until an ambulance arrived,” Robertson said. “The man was taken to Baptist Memorial Hospital where he was treated for minor injuries and released.”

Thanks to information from eyewitnesses, officers were able to arrest Calvin W. Lucas, a black male, 23, who lived at 710 Shady Grove Road nearby as the driver.

“He was charged with aggravated assault with a vehicle,” the chief said. “His bond was $35,000.’

Lucas apparently targeted the victim because of some sort of interaction the two may have had, the chief said.

The area has not been a high-crime area despite two incidents in two days, and Robertson said they don’t want it to become one.

“We’re going to increase patrols in the area because we want to keep trouble spots from developing,” Robertson said. He asks for the public’s help.

“We depend on the citizens here to let us know where there are problems,” he said. “We were fortunate to have eyewitnesses to help us in both these cases. Without citizens’ cooperation it would be hard.

 

In an added note, Robertson said they have received reports that someone has been going through mailboxes on Fairgrounds Spur. “If anyone has seen or knows anything, call the police department of Crimestoppers for the reward,” he said. The New Albany Police Department phone number is 662-534-2222 and Crimestoppers of North Mississippi is 1-800-773-8477.

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