Accused Bay St. Louis mass shooter has violent history involving guns, drugs and abuse
Editor’s note: This story includes instances of domestic violence. If you or a loved one need help, please call the Gulf Coast Center for Nonviolence at 228-436-3809 or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233.
A Pass Christian man accused in a mass shooting that left two Mississippi high school students dead and four others injured had a history of run-ins with law enforcement related to guns, drugs and domestic violence.
Cameron Everest Brand, 19, had been in and out of jail since May 2022, when Waveland police officers first arrested him on the first of two misdemeanor charges of domestic violence by simple assault.
Police went on to arrest Brand, now 19, on charges of carrying a concealed weapon, possession of marijuana and contempt of court for violating a domestic violence protection order, according to police reports and court filings the Sun Herald obtained through public records requests.
Brand was slated for a status update on his sentence for the second domestic violence offense on May 11, just 11 days after the deadly mass shooting.
Ironically, city attorney Ronny Artigues said, it appears Brand had been doing what he was supposed to for the sentence handed down in the second domestic violence case just prior to the mass shooting.
Under federal law, anyone convicted of the crime of misdemeanor of felony domestic violence, the violator is not allowed to buy or possess a firearm. But in Mississippi, officials routinely shy away from taking away guns from domestic violence offenders even after a conviction.
That was the case for Brand before the mass shooting that landed him in the Hancock County jail on two counts of murder and four counts of aggravated assault. In that case, he’s accused of pulling out a gun and firing shots at an after-prom party at a home on Old Blue Meadows Road around 12:34 a.m. on April 30.
Less than a week later, a second mass shooting shook the Coast — this time at the Scratch Kitchen on Government Street in Ocean Springs — resulting in the death of one and injuries to six others.
The Hancock County shooting resulted in the deaths of De’Arreis “DD” Smith, 18, of Pearlington, and Haeleigh Stamper, 16, and a resident of Diamondhead and native of Lexington, Kentucky.
Smith was a beloved senior at Hancock High School who loved music and looked forward to joining the military just weeks after graduating high school.
Stamper was a junior at Hancock High and died despite the best efforts of friends to revive her before one student picked her up and carried her to a car, where the student and others sped to the nearest hospital to try to save her and other injured in the attack.
Stamper and Smith died of their injuries at University Medical Center in New Orleans shortly after the shooting.
Two other Hancock High students and two Bay High students were also shot and injured. All six shooting victims were between the ages of 15 and 18.
Bay St. Louis Police Chief Toby Schwartz identified Brand as the sole shooter.
Police have not yet identified the type of gun Brand allegedly used in the attack or added any additional information as the investigation continues.
Meanwhile, Brand is expected to remain jailed without bond pending his indictment and subsequent prosecution because he was denied bond on both murder charges and had a total bond of $2 million bond on the aggravated assault charges.
Here’s a look at Brand’s criminal history, reported from documents exclusively obtained by the Sun Herald.
A busted lip, a struggle and domestic violence charges
Despite his history of alleged violence in Waveland, Brand was still able to get a hold of a gun used in the killings in April.
A woman and her mother who held the party at their home said Brand showed up at the party, talked to some people, walked away, returned with a gun and started shooting.
The Sun Herald reviewed police reports, call logs, and detailed court records and conducted various interviews to provide a detailed look at Brand’s prior interaction with authorities.
Waveland police first arrested Brand on May 29, 2022, when police got a 911 call from Brand’s mother to report to a home on Pompano Street about a domestic violence incident involving her son.
Waveland police officers got the 911 call at 11:37 a.m. for police to go to the girl’s parent’s home. The call came in from Brand’s mother after she told police her son called her from inside the teen’s home.
The girl was dating Brand at the time.
At the time, the girl’s parents were out of town, and neither she nor Brand was supposed to be there.
Brand’s mother said her son called to tell her to get to the home right away.
When his mother arrived, she told police that her son and his girlfriend were “arguing and fighting inside,” but the “doors were locked,” The mother said she couldn’t get inside.
Waveland police had at least two police officers respond to the scene.
When the police officers got there, they went to the front door and shouted, “Waveland Police, Open the Door,” but, according to the reports, the couple never responded.
One of the responding officers, then Lt. Chad Dorn, said he could hear the girl crying inside.
The two responding officers contacted the homeowner through his ring doorbell video camera and told the girl’s father, who was still out of town, what was happening. He told officers they could kick the door in after exhausting other options to get inside the home.
When no one responded despite repeated calls, one officer kicked in the door, and Brand and the girl went out a back door.
One of the officers grabbed Brand, and a second officer grabbed the girl.
In the aftermath of his first domestic violence arrest in the May 2022 assault, then-city prosecutor Damien Holcomb ultimately recommended the city dismiss the domestic violence charge against Brand after the teen victim refused to back the allegations against him.
Blood, and signs of a struggle
When the police officers entered the home, they immediately noticed signs of a struggle, with framed pictures thrown down in a hallway and a “decorative” potted plant scattered on the floor.
The police officers saw the girl with a busted and bleeding mouth.
When a police officer asked her what had happened, she told them there was some orange juice on the floor, and she had slipped on it and fallen, busting her lip and mouth.
The investigating officers asked the girl what had happened before them getting there.
The girl told one of the responding officers that “her and Cameron (Brand) were arguing about everything.”
The police officers asked who had started the fight, and the girl said they both had because “they didn’t know how to talk to each other.”
The girl claimed neither hit one other, instead saying they both “kept grabbing each other.”
When the officers asked Brand why they wouldn’t open the door, he said, “he just sat there with his head in his hands.”
Brand admitted he and the girl had been arguing but wouldn’t say whether they hit each other.
The Waveland police officers arrested Brand and his then-girlfriend on misdemeanor domestic violence charges and took them to the Hancock County jail for booking.
In the aftermath of the arrest, the girl refused to back up the allegations of an assault.
Waveland Municipal Judge Preston J. “P.J.” Mauffray ultimately dismissed the case.
A gun, drugs, and another domestic assault
Five months later, in the early morning hours of Oct. 3, 2022, Waveland police arrested Brand a second time, this time outside the Clark’s Exxon store on Highway 90.
Brand again was accused of roughing up the same teen girl.
This time, the girl told police he had a gun.
In that case, police went to the store in response to a call from the then store’s manager for a welfare check on Brand and the girl.
The then-store manager said she called after she saw Brand grab the girl’s hair and “jerk it so hard that she believed that (the girl’s) hair weave was about to come out.”
While that was happening, the manager said, the girl managed to slip his grip and hit him in the face with her hand.
At that point, the manager said, “Brand then slammed (the girl) to the ground,” He and the girl started wrestling until the girl rolled over in the chaos and got on top of Brand.
At that point, the manager said, Brand managed to break loose and then ran toward the store’s front entrance.
The responding police officers attempted to get a written statement from the store manager, but she refused to provide one, police said.
When an officer approached the teen girl, she handed the police officer “a tan fully loaded Glock magazine: filled with 9 mm rounds along with a small plastic bag of marijuana.” The girl told police Brand had dropped those items and another gun on the ground when the first police officer got there.
She confirmed to police officers that Brand had “physically assaulted her.”
She said the assault happened after she told him several times that he shouldn’t have a gun.
Police arrested Brand on a charge of domestic violence by simple assault, and called a tow company to remove his white Ford Fusion from the store.
On the way to Hancock County jail, police said that Brand kept saying the girl attacked him and that he “has more injuries than her.”
Brand had a bloody nose, the police officers noted.
At the scene, police officers searched for the gun the girl said Brand had discarded, but the officers never found it.
After that arrest, Brand subsequently returned to court to plead guilty to the domestic violence charge
Brand was ordered to complete an 18-week domestic violence intervention program through the Gulf Coast Center for Non Violence.
Brand started the process and was scheduled to return to the Waveland Municipal Court on May 23 for a status update on his progress in the program. pending any further orders from the court. That day never came.
A loaded gun, a protection order and another arrest
By Nov. 1, 2022, Brand was in trouble again, this time arrested on charges of carrying a concealed weapon, contempt of court for violating a protection order and misdemeanor possession of marijuana.
That arrest happened after Waveland police responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle, later identified as Brand’s 2012 white Ford Fusion, parked on the side of Mackerel Street and Venus Street shortly after 7 p.m.
The caller told police they saw a male, later identified as Brand, leaving the vehicle and walking toward Venus Street.
When Waveland police Officer Glenn Agnelly arrived, he searched the area for Brand but couldn’t find him. Several police officers did surveillance in the area until they got word that Brand had returned to the car.
The officer reached out to other responding officers, and each of the officers did surveillance in the area until they spotted the suspect.
The officers found Brand standing near the back of his car with a teen, identified as the same teen allegedly assaulted by him on two occasions sitting on the back of Brand’s car.
Shortly afterward, a police dispatcher radioed in to say that the man who filed the complaint had just spotted the suspect back at his car.
The girl told police she knew he wasn’t supposed to be around her because of the protection order.
When Waveland arrested Brand, the found a loaded .40-caliber semi-automatic pistol tucked in his shorts, and a small amount of marijuana in the center console of his car.
When asked, the girl told police the two had met up that morning to have sex despite the protection order meant to keep her safe from Brand.
Waveland police officers took Brand into custody and asked the girl why the two were together that morning.
The girl said Brand parked down from her parent’s home because they knew they weren’t supposed to be together. She said they went walking around the neighborhood to kill time before her parents went to sleep.
The girl described Brand as her ex-boyfriend.
Less than 24 hours later, Brand was free on a total bond of $1,500.
He returned to Waveland Municipal Court on Dec. 8, 2022, and pleaded guilty to all three misdemeanor offenses.
Judge Mauffray ordered Brand to serve a total of ten days in jail for the crimes.
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