D’Iberville police say Mobile native’s slaying appears to be ‘random act of violence’
D’IBERVILLE, Miss. (WALA) - Police investigating the shooting death of a Mobile native in the parking lot of a casino early Wednesday say they do not believe the victim and the shooter knew each other.
Police Chief Shannon Nobles said investigators believe the shooter came from Mobile, where Nicholaus Craig grew up. But he said that appears to be a coincidence.
“Right now, what we think is it’s a random act of violence and that this gentleman, the victim, was just minding his own business and appears to be in the wrong place at the wrong time,” he said. “It may be a botched robbery attempt or a botched carjacking attempt.”
The shooting occurred at about 2 a.m. at the Scarlet Pearl casino, where Craig and his girlfriend were staying. Family members said Craig was living in California and back on the Gulf Coast to celebrate is 36th birthday. The plan was to head to his mother’s house in Mobile after a night at the casino.
According to police, Craig went down to the parking lot and got into the Dodge Charger he had rented from the airport in New Orleans. He was sitting there when someone fired a single gunshot, killing him.
Nobles said investigators do not yet have any suspects. But he said they do have a suspect vehicle. Surveillance video from the casino shows a two-door, blue Nissan Altima driving away. The chief said it is easy to spot because it is missing the back bumper.
Nobles said the vehicle had a switched tag. He said investigators have tracked that tag to Mobile, where police caught up the woman that the tag was registered to. He said she didn’t even realize it had been switched.
The chief said investigators used roadside tag readers to track the vehicle’s movements from Mobile to D’Iberville and back again. He said Mobile police have visited several addresses.
“We’re asking the Mobile community in that area to be on the lookout for this vehicle … and if you see it, please report it to your local law enforcement,” he said.
Craig’s mother, Moris Tucker, said her son was a Best Buy manager. She said he did not know anybody in Mississippi and did not associate with bad people.
“Nicholaus was a handsome, wonderful, respectful young man,” she said. “He was a good son.”
Tucker descried her son as a tall, handsome and respective man raised in a Christian home. She said he was an artist who studied art in college, loved to draw and was an amateur photographer. She said he started his own business making hoodies and T-shirts.
“I feel like a hole’s in my heart,” she said. “He was one of God’s beautiful gifts here.”
Nobles said it does not appear that the shooter took anything from Craig or the car he was in, adding that bystanders in the area may have “spooked” the gunman.
“It’s a tragedy in the city of D’Iberville for a visitor to come to our community and to not be able to sit in their car and mind their own business without loss of life,” he said. “It’s a tragedy. … We hate it to happen in our city. And, you know, we pride ourselves in people coming to visit our community and feel safe.”
An autopsy is planned for Thursday.
WLOX contributed to this report.
Copyright 2022 WALA. All rights reserved.