10-year-old boy shot in the head while playing video game; brother charged

Jerald Tucker Jr.

By Monica Land

VICKSBURG – Police said a 10-year-old boy was shot in the head last Monday night while playing a video game and his older brother has been charged in his death. Captain Bobby Stewart said Jerald Tucker Jr. died at 2:15 p.m. Wednesday, April 24, two days after being shot at his residence in the 2900 block of Park Avenue in Vicksburg.

Jerald Tucker Jr.

Stewart said several other people were in the house when Jerald was shot just before 10 p.m., including his older brother, 20-year-old Willie Willis and another man, 21-year-old Joshua Ryan Coffee.

“Jerald was sitting on a coffee table playing a video game,“ Stewart said. [And] according to statements by witnesses, Coffee and Willis were handling a small caliber weapon in the living room where Jerald was…and the weapon discharged striking the child in the back of the head.”

Stewart said a neighbor notified authorities.

“The next door neighbor heard a ruckus and went on the porch and Willie Willis was asking someone to call police,” Stewart said.

Stewart said Jerald was transported by ambulance to River Regional Hospital in Vicksburg and was later airlifted to UMC in Jackson where he died of his injuries.

Authorities said the boy’s mother died three years ago and his father, Jerald Tucker Sr., was at work at the time of the incident.

During the investigation, Stewart said a weapon was retrieved from a bayou behind the residence.

“We recovered a weapon that we believe was used in the shooting,” he said. “It’s a small caliber handgun.”

Police believe the weapon belonged to Willis.

Stewart said Willis and Coffee were arrested Wednesday night. Coffee at his residence in the 200 block of Demby Drive and Willis at a local fast food restaurant on Iowa Street.

Both have been charged with manslaughter.

Willis and Coffee appeared in court on April 25 where bond for Willis was set at $75,000. Coffee, who has a prior conviction for strong armed robbery and aggravated assault faces two charges, manslaughter and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon. His bond was set at $75,000 and $25,000 respectively.

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