- Associated Press - Saturday, February 1, 2020

GREENWOOD, Miss. (AP) - For almost two years, family and friends of Demetrics Townsend have been wrestling with grief after Townsend was fatally shot at the Bishop Apartments complex March 11, 2018, at the age of 34.

Now, in light of a homicide investigation that still hasn’t led to any charges in connection to Townsend’s death, they are pleading that anyone with information speak up so they can finally have some closure.

“We really don’t know. That’s the hardest part,” said Ruby Kimble, Townsend’s mother, who resides on Mockingbird Lane along with her husband and Townsend’s father, Leggesso Kimble.

“Every day it seems like a dream,” Mr. Kimble said. “Sometimes I just sit in my room and can imagine hearing him coming in.”

Townsend, affectionately known as Meekie, had lived in Carrollton with his girlfriend. He would usually drop her off at Golden Age Nursing Home for her night shift. He then would visit his grandmother, Dorothy Miller, and some of his other relatives at his grandmother’s apartment on Clay Avenue, within the Bishop Apartments complex. After that, he would return home to his parents’ residence and sleep on the living room sofa before picking up his girlfriend.

“We wake up, and the first thing I look at is the couch,” half-expecting he will still be sleeping there, Mrs. Kimble said.

Late March 10 or early March 11, following a visit with his grandmother at Bishop Apartments, Townsend drove to the complex’s mailbox, located at the intersection of Clay Avenue and Coleman Street. It was raining that night.

While outside his vehicle to check the mail, he was shot multiple times, receiving wounds in the chest and neck, Sheriff Ricky Banks said.

The Sheriff’s Department received a call about the shooting at 12:18 a.m. March 11. Deputies found Townsend’s body sprawled on the street outside the passenger side of the vehicle, a key to the mailbox in one of his hands, the sheriff said.

A security guard usually assigned to the apartment complex had left the area by 11:30 p.m. March 10, Banks said.

Deputies recovered shell casings at the crime scene, but Banks declined to identify the caliber.

No gun linked to the crime scene has been recovered.

On Thursday (Jan. 23), Banks said that his investigators are still working on the case. However, he said they’ve been hampered by a lack of eyewitnesses since presumably not many people were outside at the time of the shooting given the time of night and rainy weather.

Townsend’s mother and father beg to differ.

“Bishop is woke 24/7,” Mrs. Kimble said. “There’s somebody that’s always up.” She believes at least one person witnessed the shooting.

“Somebody knows,” Mr. Kimble said.

“Believe me, in Bishop, everybody knows what goes on in Bishop,” Mrs. Kimble said.

Townsend’s parents also said that their son stayed away from gangs or other illicit activities. The sheriff also said no gang or illicit activities were linked with Townsend.

In fact, Mr. Kimble said, the only thing his son may have been guilty of was occasionally not wearing his seat belt while driving.

Because Townsend’s death wasn’t gang-related, Mr. Kimble said that he was told by an investigator from the Sheriff’s Department that Townsend’s death was probably personal. His parents find this hard to fathom, given their son’s gregarious nature.

“Somebody had something against him,” Mr. Kimble said.

Mrs. Kimble said that her son had been enemies with one man since their days at Davis Elementary. Other than that, Townsend “wasn’t the type of person that would stay angry, or mad or upset,” she said.

Her son always smiled and loved to help other people, whether or not he was paid, she said.

Mr. Kimble described his son as an “intelligent, smart young man” who could fix cars. Townsend was working at McDonald’s but was set to start a new job at the Dollar General in Carrollton.

Townsend’s grandmother, Dorothy Miller, said he would visit her almost every day.

“My grandson was a very good grandson to me. I got along good with him. I miss him,” she said. “He was helpful. He was just a sweet child.”

The last time she saw him alive, he was standing by the front door of her apartment.

Miller said that on the night her grandson was killed, her great- granddaughter, who lived with her, came in screaming that

somebody had shot him.

Miller said they walked out of their apartment and saw flashing lights in the area where Townsend had been shot and knew something had happened.

“I miss his smile. I just miss him,” Miller said as tears began to stream down her face. “I never thought it would happen out here because he seemed to be so friendly with everyone here.”

She paused.

“It just don’t look like it’s going to go away. It just don’t seem like it will,” Miller said of the pain she’s had since the untimely death of her grandson

She paused again.

“Why did the world get so mean?”

Outside Miller’s apartment, at the complex’s mailbox, a cross bearing Townsend’s nickname is tucked away on the top right corner.

On a recent weekday visit, Derrick Biles, one of Townsend’s friends, hung out on the front yard of one of the apartments across the street from the mailbox.

Biles said he’d been friends with Townsend for about 15 years. “We did a lot of stuff together. We were real close,” he said.

Brandon Smith said he’d been friends with Townsend for 20 years. “He loved fixing cars, going fishing,” Smith said.

“He just liked to help people,” Biles said. “He was multi-talented.”

Biles recalled that it was “unexplainable” when he learned his friend was dead. “It didn’t feel like it was true. I couldn’t believe he was gone.”

Biles said that his friend had a “clean” character and wasn’t involved in any illicit activities.

“He didn’t deserve that. He was a good guy,” Biles said.

Townsend’s death was the fifth homicide in Leflore County in 2018. Ultimately, there would be 11 homicides that year, the same number as in 2019.

“It’s been two years, and I’m not going to let this case be pushed to back. That’s what we’re trying to do: We’re trying to keep him up front,” Mrs. Kimble said. “We’re trying not to be angry. We’re trying to keep the anger out. But it’s getting harder and harder. We don’t want his case to go cold.”

“It feels bad. He doesn’t deserve this. We need to know what happened,” Miller said.

Anyone with information regarding the shooting may call the Sheriff’s Department at 453-5141 or Crime Stoppers at 800-227-8477

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