More information about deadly shooting between grandfather and grandson


WARREN COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) – A grandfather shoots and kills his grandson in Warren County and authorities say it was in self-defense and this wasn’t the first time they’ve been called to this home.

On Culkin Road, neighbors say an otherwise quiet street was shattered with a single shot around noon Saturday, May 7, 2016, leaving Justin Kirkley dead and his grandfather holding the gun that killed him.

“Now this, of course, is still under investigation like any other violent death it will be thoroughly investigated,” said Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace.

The grandfather, Joseph Crist, said he did not want to speak on camera but he tearfully told WJTV’s Lucy Dieckhaus what happened at his home.

Crist said his grandson is a good kid but when he gets alcohol in his system, he loses control and that’s what he said happened when his grandson tried to choke him to death.

“At this point, in the investigation, there is nothing to indicate there is anything other than self-defense,” said Sheriff Pace.

Sheriff Pace says this wasn’t Kirkley’s first run in with law enforcement.

“Justin was currently out on bond in the Vicksburg Police Department murder charge. He also has a conviction of residential burglary. The last contact we had with him was a December arrest for domestic violence,” said Sheriff Pace.

When WJTV spoke with the grandfather on Sunday, the day after the shooting, he had a black eye, bruises on his face and neck and other injuries.

Crist said he played dead and that’s how he was able to get away from his grandson and grab a gun.

The elderly man said Kirkley had a hard life and suffered from Cerebral Palsy.

“Just a terribly tragic situation; the grandparents are trying to help him, trying to do everything they could. You know to give him opportunities and to steer him in the right direction,” said Sheriff Pace.

Sheriff Pace says Kirkley was shot at near or point-blank range in the chest but he says this is still under investigation.

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