McComb police said upgraded charges of first-degree murder in the death of a Summit man comes as they question the claim of an accidental discharge that led to the shooting.
McComb police investigators upgraded manslaughter charges against Lacurtis Hackett, 20, of Summit, to first-degree murder in the Father’s Day shooting death of Austin Wanzo.
Wanzo, 20, of Summit was shot in the back with a Springfield XD .45 ACP semi-automatic handgun around 12:30 a.m. near the intersection of Summit Street and Higgins Drive.
Police Chief Garland Ward said Thursday afternoon that it was the gun itself that encouraged detectives to upgrade the charge to murder on Wednesday.
Ward said investigators learned that the handgun could not be misfired because the weapon is built with a system of four internal safeties.
There was other evidence that influenced investigators’ decision to upgrade the charges, although Ward would not go into detail about that evidence, citing the ongoing investigation.
At an initial hearing before McComb Municipal Court, an affidavit read by Judge Brandon Frasier described manslaughter charges because the weapon possessed by Hackett allegedly discharged by accident while he, Wanzo and a third man sat in Wanzo’s 2005 Toyota Camry.
Hackett told the court he called 911 to report the shooting and waited at the scene with his father for first responders to arrive. His bond was initially set at $25,000 because of those mitigating factors plus his clean criminal record and he bonded out the same day.
Hackett’s bond was raised to $750,000 and he remained in the Pike County jail on Thursday afternoon.