Jordan Blackwell, an 18-year-old high school student and star football player, died when he shielded his 15-year-old cousin from bullets when a suspect now accused of killing eight people, including a sheriff’s deputy, entered their home, according to Blackwell’s father.
Willie Cory Godbolt, 35, went on a mass murder spree that began late Saturday and ended Sunday morning with his arrest. He attacked three homes during this time.
The ordeal began when Tiffany Blackwell, Jordan’s mother, received a call from her best friend in the middle of the night. The friend was not identified as she is a domestic-violence victim. She said that her estranged husband came over that night.
“When she called me she told me something had happened and somebody had gotten shot, I told my husband and my sister and my other friend who was here, ‘I need to go be with (her),’ ” said Tiffany Blackwell, adding that she really hadn’t processed what her friend was telling her late Saturday.
So Tiffany Blackwell along with her husband, Shon Blackwell; the cousin’s mother; and another friend left to go to Bogue Chitto, Miss., about 10 miles south. The four adults never thought twice about leaving several grown children at home in the middle of the night.
After they left, shots were fired at the home’s locked door.
Jordan was walking down the hall FaceTiming with his girlfriend at the time. Caleb Edwards, 15, and Austin Edwards, 11, were in the living room.
Someone kept shooting until he could kick the door in. Then Caleb recognized Godbolt. When the man got inside, Caleb said he looked to Jordan Blackwell.
“Where’s your mama and daddy?” Godbolt asked, according to reports.
“They’re in Bogue Chitto,” the 18-year-old said.
Then Godbolt shot him, Caleb said. Jordan Blackwell was protecting Caleb with his body; Caleb guessed that Austin got scared.
“I guess he (Austin) popped up, and he shot him,” Caleb said.
Austin was also killed in the shooting.
Godbolt then left with family friend Xavier Lilly, 16, telling him he was going to drive him to another Brookhaven address.
“I tried to wake them up and they wouldn’t answer,” Caleb said. “Then I went to my brother and tried to wake him up and he wouldn’t wake up.”
“I never would have thought in a million years that he would hurt the kids,” Shon Blackwell said of Godbolt. “He mentored both of them. They looked up to him. … That’s the part that hurts. That the part that penetrates you.”
“I want him to wake up every morning and know what he’s done, first thing in the morning,” Shon Blackwell said. “I just want to ask him, ‘Why my son, why Austin?’ I want to look him in his face and say, ‘Why the two kids, what purpose?’ ”
Jordan was set to start at linebacker as a senior in the fall. He was beginning to receive interest from college scouts.