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Thursday, 17 September 2009

Joe Richard Poston, 24, and Robert Benjamin Seats, 28, died of gunshot wounds after a shoot-out in the parking lot of J-Mumbly's

Joe Richard Poston, 24, and Robert Benjamin Seats, 28, died of gunshot wounds after a shoot-out in the parking lot of J-Mumbly's, at 903 Hollywood Drive in the Hollywood Shopping Center. Police believe the men shot each other during an argument that began inside the club.Seven others - three women and four men - were injured in the incident. All of them were taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Some have been treated and released, while others remain hospitalized.Jackson police also are investigating a second shooting that happened about 2:20 a.m. Sunday in the area of the Sesame Street Lounge, at 411 Railroad St. Tallis Croom, 22, was treated for a gunshot wound to his chest and released from the hospital.
Lt. Tyreece Miller said Monday afternoon that Seats' and Poston's bodies had been sent to Nashville for autopsies. He said investigators would send bullets collected from the autopsies and bullets and casings from the parking lot to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for ballistics testing.The testing could help determine how many guns were used in the shooting and could take up to 17 weeks, Miller said.Police did not recover any guns from the crime scene. They believe other people may have fired weapons in addition to Seats and Poston, but they have not determined how many were involved in the shooting.
Capt. Mike Holt confirmed Monday that Poston was affiliated with the Gangster Disciples or GDs, and Seats had ties to a rival gang, the Vice Lords."This determination is made based on prior intelligence, tattoos and their associates," Holt said. "However, we don't know if (gang association) caused the altercation the night of the shooting, or if there was some independent reason they were arguing."J-Mumbly's owner, Evans Chatman, reiterated Monday that he believes the shootings were gang-related.
"We are being penalized with all the media attention and people saying the shooting happened inside the nightclub," Chatman said, as he stood outside his club about noon Monday. "It was in the parking lot, in a gang-related fight that started somewhere else and happened to end in the shopping center."Police have asked the Special Operations Unit, which includes the Metro Narcotics Unit, the Gang Unit and the Street Crimes Unit, to assist in the investigation.Jackson saw an explosion of gang-related crime in the 1990s, but gangs in Jackson have kept a lower profile in the last few years, according to police.In January, Ledarren Hawkins, 20, of Memphis, told police he was a member of the Bloods gang after he shot and killed Jerome Ellington outside the Jackson Bowling & Skating Family Fun Center. Hawkins was seen flashing gang signs before the shooting, police have said.Holt said Monday that the level of gang activity in Jackson has stayed at about the same level for the last six months.He also noted that gang affiliation is not as clearly defined as it was in the past. Even though someone may be a gang member, that person also may have strong loyalty to family members or neighborhood groups, Holt said.Both Poston and Seats have extensive criminal histories and served time in state prisons.Poston was on parole for a 2006 robbery charge, according the Tennessee Department of Correction Web site. It was not known when he was released from prison.He was previously arrested or had warrants on charges of robbery, weapons offenses, aggravated assault and motor vehicle theft, according to Jackson police records. He also had numerous driving charges and a lengthy juvenile record.Seats' official prison sentence ended in January 2009, according to the Department of Correction Web site, but it was not known when he was released from prison.His prior record includes arrests and warrants on charges of burglary, motor vehicle theft, drug offenses, rape, aggravated assault and attempted first-degree murder. He also had driving charges and a juvenile record.


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