A small rural community in Northern Mississippi has seen a massacre like the scene of a horror film. A local man with mental health problems went about shooting six different people in four different locations, including his former wife.
Harrowing Chain of Events
The harrowing tragedy occurred last Friday in Arkabutla, Mississippi, in the state’s northwestern corner near the borders with Tennessee and Missouri.
It was around 11 am when Richard Dale Crum, 52, started shooting, first killing a man driving a pickup in a parking lot outside a local convenience store, Brad Lance, the sheriff of Tate County, announced, as cited by The Conservative Review.
Crum had a history of suffering from mental illness, according to a family friend, quoted by The Associated Press. Even so, it wasn’t immediately clear what motivated the man, who was armed with two handguns and a shotgun, to go on the bloody rampage.
The sheriff’s deputies were already working on the first crime scene when a new 9/11 call came, alerting the police that another shooting had occurred several miles away.
The second crime scene was the home of Crum’s ex-wife, who was identified by the sheriff. The deputies discovered the woman’s dead body, while her current husband had been wounded.
After the second shooting contingency, deputies managed to catch Crum outside his house and nabbed him, Lance said.
However, behind the house, they discovered the bodies of two handymen also killed by gunfire. One of those was gunned down, presumably by the same shooter on the road, while the second one lay dead inside an SUV.
Then, the sheriff’s deputies found out that Crum had killed more people. In another house nearby, they discovered the corpses of the man’s stepfather and the stepfather’s sister.
A 52 yo man, Richard Dale Crum armed with 3 guns went on a shooting rampage in Arkabutla Mississippi, killing 6 people, including his ex-wife, pic.twitter.com/c8ZnkjYaWw
— Chloe @ True Crime Replay Inc (@Chloe_TCR) February 18, 2023
6 shot dead in Arkabutla, #Mississippi. Suspect in custody. Shooter went into a store and shot a man. The shooter then went to a house and shot a woman, then went to an another and home killed 2 people. A chase ensued and suspect pulled into a driveway and was apprehended. At… https://t.co/j6RRBUt4xc pic.twitter.com/YfxLyLcW4B
— Chloe @ True Crime Replay Inc (@Chloe_TCR) February 17, 2023
Richard Crum, known as Bubba, savagely murdered 6 people in Arkabutla, Mississippi today. He is 52 years old. Charged with first degree murder. No bond. #Arkabutla @WMCActionNews5 pic.twitter.com/UNIdVzhSOH
— Rose (@901Lulu) February 18, 2023
Shooter Started Imitating Jackie Chan Movies
The rampage in which a local man went from one location to another, gunning down people, has shaken the small rural community. Sheriff Lance said he had never seen violent crime “of this magnitude.”
To top it all off, he pointed out the “scary part” was the investigators still had no idea “what triggered this.”
The suspected perpetrator was put in custody without bond on capital murder charges, with more charges expected to be brought against him during the investigation.
The sheriff recounted that the first man whose murder was reported was 59-year-old Chris Eugene Boyce, who got killed outside the store. Boyce’s brother, who was with him in the pickup truck, managed to escape from Crum even though the shooter chased him through a forest.
The others killed were the shooter’s ex-wife Debra Crum, 60, Lynda McCain, 78, George McCain, 73, John Rorie, 59, and Charles Manuel, 76.
Boyce had come to the town from Florida and his brother Doug arrived from Alaska. They were in Arkabutla in order to clean up a property they recently inherited from a deceased uncle.
Accounts from a woman who knew the Crums said the shooter developed “apparent” mental illness. He would immigrate Jackie Chan movies and would even do that with swords.
The shooter’s ex-wife had survived breast cancer. She was about to undergo surgery for a different medical condition.
Arkabutla, MS, is 30 miles south of Memphis Tennessee. It is known as the Arkabutla Lake and the birthplace of actor James Earl Jones.
Mississippi resident recounts mass shooting https://t.co/3ND20lW0DF
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) February 18, 2023
George Drane, who survived the Arkabutla shooting Friday, told me what unfolded inside the home where his girlfriend Debra Crum, was murdered. Drane said it “didn’t seem real” as he lay on the ground of their home, bleeding and dazed.https://t.co/0X441eb8BP
— Michael Goldberg (@mikergoldberg) February 18, 2023