Community holds vigil for late Simpson County deputy James Blair


SIMPSON COUNTY, Miss. (WLBT) -Dozens of people lighting candles for the beloved Simpson County Deputy James Blair, Sunday.

The vigil held at Simpson Central School, where Blair was a long time school resource officer.

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Parents and children mourn his loss.

“And as for us our children loved him, I love to see Mr. Blair come in or if we saw him on the road they have to wave real big at him,” said Ginger Warren, a longtime neighbor.

The 77 year old was shot and killed on Friday.

Mississippi Bureau of Investigations said 22 year-old Joaquin Blackwell was the shooter.

As he sits in jail on capital murder charges, Sheriff Paul Mullins held back tears the vigil.

“It’s been a rough week. And I just want to thank this community for coming together and showing us your love.”

Blair’s daughter took the mic too. She is the youngest of Blair’s six children; she said Deputy Blair was working to help take care of his grandchildren.

“Words cannot even express what we feel in our hearts for the love, compassion,the comments, everything that y’all have shown to us,” said Deputy Blair’s daughter.

His funeral arrangements are set for Thursday.

It will take some time for this community to heal.

“Mr. Blair spent his life serving this community because this community was important to him and I think that you know, he would want our community to stay close stay connected and the best way we can honor his life is by ensuring that we are coming together as a community and that we’re loving on one another,” said Crystal Brewer, a school counselor that worked with Blair.

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