Who Is Richard Dale Crum? Mississippi Man Charged Over Shooting of 6 People

Six people were killed on Friday in Arkabutla, a small rural community in Mississippi, after a gunman went on a shooting spree targeting four different locations.

Police have arrested 52-year-old Richard Dale Crum, a resident of Arkabutla, and have charged him with first-degree murder. The suspect was detained by officers near his home following a short chase, which took place after the fourth shooting.

Additional charges are expected to be filed against Crum "in the coming days," according to the local Tate County Sheriff's Office. It is unclear whether Crum, who is being held at Tate County Jail, has acquired legal representation or how he intends to plea..

Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves said he had been briefed over the incident, and said police believe the gunman acted alone. He added that the shooter's motive is "not yet known."

One of those killed was Crum's ex-wife and another is believed to have been his step-father.

The attacks started at around 11am in an Arkabutla convenience store where a man was shot dead. According to Tate County Sheriff Brad Lance, the victim did not appear to have any connection to the suspect.

Mississippi shooting suspect Richard Dale Crum
Tate County Sheriff’s Office photograph of Richard Dale Crum, who has been charged with first degree murder following a gun rampage in Mississippi, along with a 2022 police stock photo taken in Washington D.C. Crum was arrested near his home after a short chase. STEFANI REYNOLDS/AFP/GETTY/Tate County Sheriff’s Office

Sheriff Lance said the shooter then drove to the house of Crum's ex-wife, shooting her dead and striking another man with his gun, though he was not shot.

After this Crum allegedly drove to a property behind his house, where he shot dead a man believed to have been his step-father, along with a woman.

Finally, two men, who Sheriff Lance suggested were construction workers, were shot dead in the street.

Tate County deputy coroner Ernie Lentz identified the dead as Lynda McCain, 78, George McCain, 73, Charles Manuel, 76, John Rorie, 59, Debra Crum, 60 and Chris Boyce, 59.

Lentz added that the two dead McCains are believed to have been siblings.

Arkabutla, situated in north-west Mississippi near the Arkansas border, had 285 residents in 2020, according to the U.S. national census of that year.

Sheriff Lance commented: "We don't have violent crime in the community very often. It's a very safe community."

In a statement responding to the shootings President Biden said: "Jill and I are mourning for the six killed in today's violence in Tate County, Mississippi — as we have for far too many Americans. We grieve with their families and with Americans nationwide as gun violence claims yet more lives."

The president continued: "We need—need—commonsense gun law reforms. That includes requiring background checks on all gun sales, banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, fully closing the boyfriend loophole to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers, requiring safe storage of guns, and eliminating immunity for gun manufacturers who knowingly put weapons of war on our streets."

Biden has made firearm law reform a major priority, vowing to "finish the work" during an address in December delivered to the National Vigil for All Victims of Gun Violence.

A recent Redfield & Wilton Strategies survey, conducted for Newsweek, found a majority of Americans think there should be a maximum age for gun purchase in the U.S.

Newsweek has contacted the Tate County Sheriff Department for comment.