Lowndes County Coroner Greg Merchant says 27-year-old Cordell DeShaun Lewis of Columbus died at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle shortly after being brought there following a 12;15 a.m. shooting Thursday outside the upper level of the Trotter Convention Center.
Witnesses and police tell The Packet four shots rang out, even with a police officer working security within a few feet of the incident. The shooter fled and still is being sought, police said.
Frankie Buckley had the convention center rented for a party with a DJ. He sold tickets and the price of the ticket included free alcohol. Four Columbus police officers and two security guards were on duty at the event. The city requires security for events at the Trotter, especially those where alcohol is involved.
Witnesses said “two or three skirmishes” had broken out during the event and Buckley was shutting the party down at about 12:15 a.m. and many people had left when the shooting occurred as a few people still were in front of the center.
One of the officers was at the victim’s side within about 30 seconds but the shooter was gone, witnesses said.
Buckley has rented the Trotter for similar parties in the past without serious incidents.