• Couple charged in Mississippi gas station shooting claim they were ‘defending their family'

    By: Tom Dees

    Updated:

    PANOLA CO., Miss. - Three people were shot at a gas station in Mississippi – the same store that was tied to the murder of Jessica Chambers. Now, police said two people are in custody in connection with the shooting.

    RELATED: After second mistrial in Jessica Chambers murder case, what's next for Quinton Tellis?

    The Panola County Sheriff’s Department said three people were shot at M&M First Stop on US Highway 51 around 7 p.m. Monday. 

    Police said all three victims were taken to Regional One in Memphis. 

    Two people are in custody, Mikal Cox and Jasmine Cox. Police said Mikal Cox is believed to be the shooter.  

    Both suspects have been charged with aggravated assault, according to the Panola County Sheriff's Office.

    The sheriff's department told FOX13 the shooter drove by first and then got out of his car like he was getting gas. 

    He had a gun in his jacket and started to shoot. There were kids in the back of the car. The sheriff also said it appeared to stem from some sort of feud. 

    All three victims are in critical condition.

    However, the suspects have a different story of what happened. 

    FOX13’s Tom Dees is the only reporter to speak to both the lead investigator and the suspects.

    “I was defending my family. I was defending my children and my wife and myself,” Cox told FOX13.


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    According to police, the two suspects abandoned a getaway car on Highway 35, just south of Batesville. They then switched cars and someone picked them up. 

    Police said the duo had three small children inside the car while the shooting happened. Police took them into custody during a traffic stop.

    Investigators said they are not sure what motivated the shooting. 

    The suspects told FOX13 that Mikal Cox walked into the store and "exchanged a few words" with one of the victims.

    He said his wife handed him his gun and stood there while Mikal fired several rounds into three different victims. They took off after shooting as many as six shots. 

    Mikal Cox is being held without bond because police said he is a flight risk. Bond for Jasmine Cox was set at $25,000.

    This store was heavily tied to the Jessica Chambers case and the murder trial of Quinton Tellis

    RELATED: Mistrial declared in Jessica Chambers murder retrial

    Surveillance video at that gas station showed Tellis walking across the street to where Chambers’ car had come into view, and then he walked back to his driveway. 

    Tellis was at this store multiple times, and Chambers was there as well. 

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