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Police: Downtown Jackson Shooting Leaves Two Dead and Two Injured

By Natalie Potts
By npotts@wbbjtv.com

JACKSON, Tenn. - Jackson Police are investigating an early morning shooting that left two dead, and two wounded.

Police said officers were called to the parking lot of Wolfe Enterprises at 438 East Main just after 3 a.m. Sunday morning for a call of shots fired.

Officers arrived to find Brian Jontez Banes, 31, and Detandis Cortez Clark, 31, lying on the parking lot with apparent gunshot wounds. Police said both Banes and Clark were transported to a local hospital where they both died as a result of their injuries.

Property manager James Wolfe told WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News that he had rented out his property for a graduation party for adults.

"This is probably one of the worst days in my entire life really," said Wolfe. "I just can't believe after all of the stuff we've done over the years towards non-violence and all that we are witnesses to something here in Jackson on our property. I find it so difficult. It's like I've been dreaming; like I'm in a nightmare now."

Police said when the party let out, they believe there was an argument in the parking lot that led to the shooting. Officials said several people called for help from the parking lot at the time of the shooting. Most witnesses left the area prior to police arriving or as they were arriving.

"One of the things that really frustrating to me as an officer is that there are a lot of witnesses, but we get very little information from them," said Captain Mike Holt of the criminal investigation division. "I don't know why they are afraid to come forward, but we need to hear form people who were there last night. Somebody has got to speak for the deceased."

Bane's mother told WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News that her son was a former marine known for keeping the peace. She said eyewitnesses have told her family that he was killed while attempting to break up the argument. Clark's family members said the two friends were shot several times.

"That is the ultimate in brutality in my opinion," said Wolfe. "Any shooting is senseless, but when you can see how that was done it's heartbreaking and I feel for the family."

Police said two other victims, Tashonda Davis and Dartalin Pharmer, showed up at the hospital with gunshot wounds. Both were with Banes and Clark at the time of the shooting. They were treated for their injuries and then released.

"This was not a random act of violence," said Holt. "These people ran into each other in this lot and I would say there was some prior knowledge or interaction between the people involved."

So far police have made no arrests. Investigators said there are many potential witnesses who were present during the shootings, and they hope eyewitnesses who left the scene before officers arrived will come forward with details vital in solving these apparent double murders.

If you have any information in this case call Jackson Police Violent Crimes Unit at (731) 425-8676 or Crime Stoppers at (731) 424-8477.