Residents of the tight-knit community of Corsicana are still trying to make sense of a weekend shooting in Navarro County where police say a man killed four family members, including a child, before to commit suicide as police confronted him.
Corsicana Police Chief Robert Johnson told the Corsicana Daily Sun that a shooting scene was reported Saturday night in the 2900 block of W. Second Ave. in Corsicana. Shortly after, Navarro County Sheriff’s Deputies discovered a second shooting scene at a home in Frost, about 20 miles west of Corsicana.
Johnson said officers responding to homes found a man and woman shot and killed in Corsicana and a man and child shot dead by Frost. Authorities identified the suspected shooter and the victims who died from gunshot wounds on Saturday evening. Kevin Milazzo, 41, is the suspect, William “Bill” Mimms, 68, is the suspect’s stepfather, Connie Mimms, 61, is the suspect’s mother, Joshua Milazzo, 21, is the suspect’s son and Hunter Freeman, 4, is the son of the suspect’s former girlfriend.
Two other people were also injured in the shooting in Corsicana and a third was injured in Frost, Johnson said. All three were hospitalized at a Dallas-area trauma center, he said.
On Tuesday February 8, the Corsicana Police Department reported that another victim, Xavier Milazzo, was disconnected from life support and pronounced dead around 10 p.m. February 7 at John Peter Smith Hospital.
A fundraiser was held for Pattie Freeman, the suspect’s former girlfriend and Hunter’s mother.
The day after the shooting, the scene on Second Avenue in Corsicana was grim. All was calm and the only sign of the police was yellow crime scene tape, flapping in the wind around a once-happy family home in a middle-class neighborhood.
A next-door neighbor who asked not to be named said she didn’t know what was going on until police came to her door and asked her to stay inside while they were investigating.
“They were the best neighbors anyone could have and we’re sad,” she said. “It’s such a terrible loss.”
Kim Felix, who lives two houses from where the gunfire broke out in Corsica, said the couple who lived in the house had a son who had suffered from mental illness for several years and had recently returned to the house .
“The stepdad (Bill) just rode his lawnmower here and brought us some homemade cookies the other day,” she said. “They were really good people.”
A fundraising barbecue to cover funeral and medical expenses is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. on Saturday, February 12 at the VFW station at 4609 Highway 31 in Corsicana.
Friends and family took to social media to mourn the tragedy.
Joshua Milazzo’s employer, Oil City Iron Works, paid tribute to him on Monday.
“Josh, just three months shy of his 22nd birthday, recently celebrated his second birthday as a security guard,” the post said. “A hard worker, he often arrived early for his evening shifts. He always had a friendly disposition, greeting everyone with a hello and a smile. Heaven has a special place for gems like Josh. Rest in peace. You will truly miss your work family.
Pattie Freeman’s employer, Dr. Jim Hall, also shared his thoughts in a public Facebook post.
“Prayers for one of my nurses, who was brutally shot and her young son murdered,” he said. “Lives needlessly lost to pure evil, Pattie hangs by a thread.”
Johnson said the suspect’s vehicle was found after officers responded to the shooting in Frost using GPS and police organized a vehicle watch service to turn off the engine in order to arrest the man while driving on a county road.
Johnson said officers approached the vehicle to find the man inside with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. He died shortly afterwards in a hospital. The name of the alleged shooter has not been released.
“As the vehicle came to a complete stop in the road, Corsicana SWAT officers approached the vehicle to find the driver seriously injured with a self-inflected gunshot wound to the head,” Johnson said. “Corsicana SWAT Dr. Mathew Branch administered treatment at the scene. Ambulance personnel then transported the suspect to Navarro Regional Hospital, where he died from his injuries.
Police officials continued to investigate the multiple homicide through Saturday and are withholding the names of the suspect and victims pending notifications from next of kin.