A memorial will be unveiled 10 a.m. Saturday in honor of eight people killed in a 2017 shooting spree in Lincoln County.
The ceremony will be held at the intersection of Highway 51 and Bogue Chitto Road.
The monument will honor Lincoln County sheriff’s deputy William Durr, his mother-in-law Barbara Mitchell, her sister Brenda May, May’s daughter Tocarra May, Austin Edwards, Jordan Blackwell, Ferral Burage and Shelia Burage, who were slain late May 26 and in the early morning hours of May 27, 2017.
Alleged gunman Willie Cory Godbolt of Bogue Chitto is scheduled for trial in February.
Saturday’s event will start at 8 a.m. with a 5K prayer walk/run through the community.
The dedication program will open at 10 with prayer by Bro. Billy Deer, a song by Durr’s widow Tressie Hall Durr, talks by the Rev. Shon Blackwell and the Rev. Eugene Edwards, placing of memorabilia in a time capsule by victims’ family members, unveiling of the monument, presentation by Sheriff Steve Rushing, prayers by the Rev. Willie Gallager and Dr. Barbara Buie, and refreshments in the Bogue Chitto Fire Station next door.
Stonemason Jose “Chi Chi” Maldonado built the monument, and Growin’ Green Landscape did the landscaping.
Growin’ Green owner Jamie Gatlin said the monument project cost around $40,000, paid for by donations and fundraisers. Getting rights of way and deeds to the property was time-consuming and difficult.
“It took a lot longer than we thought. We built it because in 100 years you still want it to be there,” said Gatlin, who is distantly related to Durr by marriage.
“It was built for longevity. It was over-built.”
Plans call for the time capsule to be opened in 50 years.
Shortly after the slayings, an impromptu memorial sprang up on property beside the fire station at Highway 51 and Bogue Chitto Road. The memorial included eight crosses flanking a central cross, all decorated with flags, flowers and balloons.
Gatlin said the eight crosses will be presented to surviving family members.