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Please pray for the Ferguson family. Their oldest son is a very close friend of mine.
Suspect in double homicide found dead
By ROBIN FITZGERALD
GULFPORT -- A small child ran to a neighbor’s home for help Monday, and though neighbors tried to intervene in a dispute at the Kent Avenue home, police arrived to find the woman -- a minister’s wife -- and her older son dead.
Police soon found the suspect dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound at his apartment about two miles away.
Authorities identified the mother and son as Karen Denise Ferguson, 45, and Trevor Cole Ferguson, 21, who was wheelchair-bound. They lived in Kenwood subdivision, a quiet neighborhood of large, brick homes off Old Highway 49 and just south of Robinson Road in Gulfport’s Orange Grove area.
The suspect, 70-year-old Paul Ellis Buckman, had been accused of sexually assaulting one of the two who were slain, Deputy Police Chief Leonard Papania said. He had been arrested on a sexual-battery charge in July, but his case had not yet been presented to a grand jury.
The slayings brought the city’s number of homicides this year to 14.
Witnesses had identified Buckman as the man who had held a gun to Karen Ferguson’s head when the neighbors went to check on the boy’s concerns. They reported they had to retreat with the child for their safety.
Authorities have not yet said how the mother and son died.
Coroner Gary Hargrove said autopsies will be performed late this afternoon or Wednesday.
Police initially were called Monday for complaints of a dispute involving a man with a gun at 2:14 p.m. The mother and son were already dead when officers arrived. Police soon identified Buckman as the suspect, and asked the public to help find him.
Police said he was covered with blood, armed with a gun and wearing khaki shorts when he was last seen.
Diane Hutto, who lives on Kenwood Drive, the road leading into the subdivision, said a neighbor called and told her to stay inside because police were surrounding her home.
“Sure enough, they were,” Hutto said. “Generally, it’s a very quiet neighborhood.”
Members of Orange Grove Church of Christ had come to give comfort and to seek comfort. Some of them wept openly and hugged each other at the edge of Hutto’s front yard. They sat on the lawn and waited for news.
Adam McDaniel, an elder at the church, said Karen Ferguson’s husband is a minister there, and Buckman had attended the church until his arrest.
“Her 5-year-old boy managed to get out alive,” McDaniel said.
Police and fire vehicles blocked the area leading to the Ferguson’s home and neighbors walked around cautiously, trying to find out what had happened.
A woman ran down the street calling another child’s name as one of the Ferguson’s older child returned to the neighborhood after school.
Police enacted a “reverse 911” call for the immediate area.
“We didn’t know where Mr. Buckman went or where he was heading,” Police Chief Alan Weatherford said.
Buckman lived at Creekwood Apartments on O’Neal Road, near the church.
A police SWAT team gathered in the parking lot of Bradford-O’Keefe Funeral home at O’Neal and U.S. 49 while officers started blocking roads in the area. Police tactical-team members put on their gear and headed to Buckman’s ground-floor unit in Building 3 at the apartment complex.
“They made entry and found him deceased in the bathroom,” Papania said.
The police chief spent time off and on into the evening with Karen Ferguson’s husband.
“It’s a terrible tragedy,” Weatherford said, “and there’s a 5-year-old who witnessed this.”
GULFPORT -- A small child ran to a neighbors wife -- and her older son dead.
Sad story. I'll b praying for the family man. Sounds like evil was radiating from the suspect. They never mentioned anything about the husband other than he was a minister at the church. Is he around to take care of the child?
rtr fau 4L
"Character" is doing the right thing when nobody is looking.
Praying for the family and friends.
I feel so sad for the small child. No child should ever have to witness something so horrific.
Unreal. They are in my prayers.
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 2 Cor 10:4
bringtherain714 said... (original post)Sad story. I'll b praying for the family man. Sounds like evil was radiating from the suspect. They never mentioned anything about the husband other than he was a minister at the church. Is he around to take care of the child?
bringtherain714 said... (original post)
There were 4 boys. Kyle is my friend who is a campus minister in Kentucky. Cole was the special needs child who was molested and killed. Conner was at a friends house. Casey is the five year old they adopted from Honduras...the child that witnessed the murders.
Les is the father. Long time preacher at the church. Amazing family. Seriously, amazing family. BTW, yesterday was their 24 th wedding anniversary. Very sad.
Prayers sent. I may be naive here, but is Gulfport that dangerous of a city? 14 homicides this year?
That's a terrible story. My prayers for that family.
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