The teenager who hosted an after-prom party at her home in Mississippi where two high schoolers were shot dead and four were injured has spoken up about the horrors she faced.
The 18-year-old, who asked not to be named, said she reluctantly agreed to host the after-prom party this year because nobody else would agree to plan one.
But as about 60 to 70 students from Bay High School in Bay St. Louis and Hancock High School in Kiln were celebrating early Sunday morning, a gunman opened fire, killing two teenagers and injuring four others — one of whom is in critical condition. He then fled the scene and allegedly returned home.
Cameron Everett Brand, 19, of Pass Christian, was later arrested and charged with four counts of aggravated assault and two counts of murder. He is being held in a Mississippi jail without bail.
‘He just started shooting, and left without remorse,’ the 18-year-old hostess told the Sun Herald of the suspected gunman.
Cameron Everett Brand, 19, faces charges in connection to a shooting at a Mississippi house party that left two dead
Authorities say Brand entered an after-prom party held at a student’s house and started firing an unknown number of rounds
The teenage girl and her mother told how they were monitoring the partygoers at their house, keeping an eye on the crowd and picking up trash.
They said they did not supply any of the teenagers with alcohol, though some students brought their own and many were drinking.
Neither the girl nor her mother said they heard any yelling or signs of an argument — and their first sign that anything was wrong was the sound of gunshots.
The girl and her mother said they never saw the weapon, but her mother heard sounds of ‘pow, pow, pow.’
The teenager, meanwhile, said her friends grabbed her and pulled her into the woods behind the house after shots first rang out.
When the shooting stopped, she said, she saw someone laying besides her mother’s car and went to give him CPR — but someone stopped her, telling the girl, ‘He’s dead.’
‘We were having a good time until he started shooting,’ the 18-year-old said, noting that the shooter ‘just got in his car and left and went home’ after ‘he shot six innocent people.’
‘This happened at my house,’ she continued. ‘I just wanted everybody to have a good time. This will live with me forever.’
The girl said she has already canceled her plans to have a graduation party, saying, ‘Everybody expects me to be OK and I can’t be OK.’
Her mother also said that she will not be able to forget what she saw at her own home.
‘All I can remember seeing is these four children, laying on the ground, shot,’ she said.
The victims of the shooting have since been identified as De’Arreis ‘DD’ Smith, 18, a senior at Hancock High School, and Haeleigh Stamper, 16, also a student at Hancock
Brand had a criminal history prior to the shooting early Sunday morning, with previous charges including carrying a concealed weapon, possession of marijuana and domestic violence by sexual assault, as well as a charge for violating a protection order
The victims of the shooting have since been identified as De’Arreis ‘DD’ Smith, 18, a senior at Hancock High School, and Haeleigh Stamper, 16, also a student at Hancock.
Kecia Sams, who considered Smith an adopted member of her family, described the teenager who was just weeks away from graduating as ‘an amazing soul, a loyal friend, brother and uncle.’
‘He was loved by many and will be missed so very much by his family.’ she told the Sun Herald.
A GoFundMe has also been set up to help with Stamper’s funeral expenses. It describes her as a ‘beautiful soul.’
‘Her beautiful smile would light the whole room up,’ organizer Lillie Smith wrote. ‘Someone so sweet and adorable like her didn’t deserve this at all.’
Four others were also shot in the rampage — including one who is in critical condition.
Two of the wounded are students at Hancock High School and two others are students at Bay High School.
A motive for the shooting has not yet been determined.
But records obtained by the Sun Herald show Brand had a history of run-ins with the law, resulting in charges including carrying a concealed weapon, possession of marijuana and domestic violence by sexual assault, as well as a charge for violating a protection order.
He was also cited in the past for violating his bond conditions, but was a free man when he showed up at the party early Sunday morning.
Authorities have said he fled the scene after opening fire, but was arrested at his home shortly after without incident.