Clarksdale teen shot in the face while sitting on front porch

Debra "Toodie" Pickens

By Monica Land

CLARKSDALE – Police Chief Greg Hoskins said they are still looking for a suspect in the murder of an 18-year-old girl shot to death while sitting on her front porch last week.

Hoskins said family members found Debra “Toodie” Pickens still sitting in her chair on the front porch of her residence in the 300 block of Florida Street shortly after 10 p.m. on May 15.

She had been shot in the face.

“We don’t know,” Hoskins said. “Her family don’t know anything. All we have is that [Debra] had talked to a friend earlier and the friend said Pickens was upset because someone had been harassing her but she never said who it was.”

Hoskins said Pickens was alone on the porch around 10:12 p.m., when someone either drove up or walked up and shot her in the face.

“She was alone,“ Hoskins said, “but somebody had to be out there for her to get shot. But about an hour and a half earlier, she was out there with her younger sister and some other folks and they were all getting along fine. The younger sister said she knew the people.”

Hoskins said those same people were questioned during the investigation, but cleared of any involvement in the shooting.

Pickens was still outside when Hoskins said the sound of a gunshot and a truck alarm caused her family to rush outside.

“They heard the noise,” he said. “And the alarm on the truck was so sensitive that when the shot was fired, it caused the truck alarm to go off. One of the younger sisters found [Debra] in the chair and then the mother came out and there was blood all over the porch. And by the time we arrived on the scene, she was taking her last breath.”

Hoskins said a person was seen running away from the area, but police have yet to identify that individual.

Anyone with information about this crime can contact the Clarksdale Police Department at (662) 621-8156.

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