Assault Case Upgraded to Murder

Andrew Tamayo, 35, died Wednesday night at Anderson Hospital from injuries sustained in a shooting that happened last month outside a Meridian store.

It happened between 3:30 and 4 p.m. Feb. 27. The 35-year-old was gunned down in front of Amigo's Food Mart on 23rd Street, across from Eastern Gardens.

"Someone knows what happened. They saw the shooting," said Lt. Dean Harper.

Harper, commander of the Criminal Investigations Division for the Meridian Police Department, says that's why officers need at least one witness to talk.

"We know when this happened there were several people in the parking lot; there were some people standing over by a blue building," said Harper. "More than one person saw what happened. They know who did it."

One worker at the store says he was in the back cooking when the shooting happened, and didn't see anything. However, in the wake of it, he's uneasy and anxious for police to make an arrest.

"When officers arrived, the only description we got of the suspect was that he was a short, black male, somewhere between 17, 18 and 25-years-old, who had fled the scene. We canvassed the area for witnesses. We collected evidence at the scene," said Harper.

According to Harper, the victim was shot multiple times. We know that at least some of the wounds were to the abdomen. Before he died, officers were able to speak with Tamayo.

Harper said the shooting was not random and Tamayo was a target. At this time, he says he cannot elaborate about a possible motive, but does confirm that only one person is believed to be involved. That's why he says witness accounts are so important.

"If they put themselves in the shoes of Andrew's family, wouldn't they want someone to step forward to speak up for their family members? That's all we're asking," Harper said.

A cash reward is being offered for information that leads to an arrest. To report information, call Crimestoppers at 601-485-1860.

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