BROOKHAVEN, Miss. – When Donna Davis opened her door shortly after midnight, what she saw reminded her of a scene out of a horror movie. A mother and two children, a boy and a girl, were covered in blood after being shot in their home across the road.
Someone kept saying, "'We've been hit,'" Davis said, awakened by a pounding on the doors. There was so much blood, she said, that she thought they had been hit by a car early Friday.
"The little boy, he was half under the porch like he was trying to hide from someone. He was screaming for help," she said, pointing to wooden steps leading to the door of her trailer home.
At one point, said Davis' mother-in-law, Linda Davis, the boy reached up to his face and said, "Oh, half my ear is gone."
Police said a man living in the house owned by the woman, Victoria Sims, and her husband, Jermaine Sims, shot them both and their three children. Jermaine Sims, 31, and a 9-year-old daughter died. Victoria Sims, 29, and their 6-year-old son and 14-year-old daughter survived but were in critical condition, Capt. Clint Earls said. Police did not release the children's names.
Victoria and the two other children who survived had crossed a usually busy two-lane highway to seek help, Donna Davis said.
"It was like out of a horror movie," she said. "I still see that little girl's face in my mind."
Jimmy Lyons, 32, is accused of shooting the family, Earls said. He added that Lyons faces two counts of murder and three of aggravated assault.
Lyons was being held in a county jail. It was not known if he had an attorney.
Earls said Jermaine Sims and Lyons had argued, but he did not know what the argument was about.
Earls said there don't appear to have been any witnesses.
"The only thing we are waiting on is getting some of the victims in well-enough health to where they can shed some light on what caused the incident to erupt," Earls said.
The shootings took place in an area about a mile south of downtown Brookhaven: inside city limits but rural in nature, where large yards are studded with pine trees.
Donna and John Davis and their 10-year-old daughter, Heaven, live in a white-and-beige trailer home across the highway and about 100 yards away from the Sims' brown, wood-frame home. John Davis' mother, Linda Davis, lives next door in a small cream-colored house.
Police said a call about 12:20 a.m. Friday brought police to the Davises' homes, where they found Victoria Sims and two children outside, wounded. Inside the Sims' home they found Jermaine Sims and the 9-year-old, both shot, and Lyons, uninjured. Jermaine Sims and the daughter died later at a hospital.
The Davises said they often saw the children getting on and off the school bus or riding bicycles in the yard, but did not know their neighbors.
John Davis said the boy's wounds included cuts on his face, as if he'd been attacked with a knife.
Donna Davis said that, while they waited for an ambulance, she hugged the girl to keep her warm.
"She kept saying, 'I want my mama,'" Donna Davis said.
Associated Press Writer Bill Fuller contributed to this report.