Five teenagers have been arrested and charged with capital murder after the shooting death of a Mississippi girl, police confirmed to PEOPLE.
Madison Harris, 16, was found shot inside her Biloxi, Miss., home and transported to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead from her injuries, according to local TV station WLOX.
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At 1:48 p.m. on Monday, Biloxi Police responded to a call for an unresponsive victim, police stated in a press release obtained by PEOPLE. “During the course of the investigation, it was determined the shooting occurred during a failed robbery attempt,” it stated.
Police said five suspects went to the victim’s home with the “intent to allegedly rob the victim of her personal possessions.” The press release stated that a gun was used to threaten the teen, and an altercation allegedly followed. After the shooting, the suspects fled the scene, police allege.
Madison lived at the home with her father and grandmother, who is engaged to James Waldeck.
Waldeck told WLOX he was alerted to the incident when his Ring Doorbell app showed an ambulance at his home.
“Madison was here with her very good friend Paul, and her dad was in the backyard raking leaves,” Waldeck said to the TV station. “One girl came in, I saw on the Ring Doorbell, about a half-hour before. And then, according to my Ring Doorbell, four of them charged in [through] an unlocked door here at the carport. And within a matter of ten seconds, the shooting and screaming, and then [I saw] them running out the door being chased by Paul, her friend, and then her dad.”
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Police arrested Yakeshia L. Blackmon, 17; Willow O. Blackmon, 15; Jasmine Joy-Sade Kelley, 15; Jarvis Jermaine Cook, 17; and Jaquez Devonte Porter, 17. They were charged with capital murder, which allows them to be charged as adults, police said.
Clockwise: Cook, W. Blackmon, Kelley, Porter, Y. Blockmon
Biloxi Police Department
Biloxi Police Maj. Christopher De Back told PEOPLE that the community has been shaken by the teen’s death.
“There was a vigil for her,” he said. “There’s a lot of shock because this is out of the norm.”
It’s unconstitutional for juveniles to receive the death penalty in Mississippi, so if found guilty, the suspects could receive a life sentence. De Back said the case is still an ongoing investigation and has not released any additional details.
The suspects made their initial appearance in front of a judge on Wednesday. They were not given bond. It will be two to three weeks before they have a preliminary hearing. It’s unclear whether they’ve obtained a lawyer.