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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Mississippi

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Lyric Shooter Sentenced to 10 years in Prison

OXFORD – A Memphis, Tennessee man was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison on Thursday afternoon for being a convicted felon in possession of ammunition.  Desmond Bowen pled guilty to a federal firearms offense in November of 2018, stemming from his role in a shooting that occurred inside the Lyric Theater in Oxford, Mississippi on April 27, 2018.  An announcement regarding Bowen’s sentence was made by Joseph Frank, Supervisory Special Agent for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Oxford, and U.S. Attorney William C. Lamar.  

Information presented as part of the case against Bowen showed that he attended a party at the Lyric Theater in April on Double Decker Weekend when a fight broke out inside the theater. Bowen fired a shot upward, which hit the underside of a balcony, ricocheted, and struck a patron. Officers collected a .25 auto caliber shell casing from the scene along with an attendee’s video, which depicted Bowen shooting a firearm.

In sentencing Bowen to the maximum possible ten year sentence along with three years of supervised release, U.S. District Judge Michael P. Mills called Bowen a “risk to the public” and noted the senselessness of Bowen’s acts in discharging the weapon within the crowded Lyric theater.

U.S. Attorney William C. Lamar announced the sentence and reiterated the commitment of his office to hold accountable those who threaten the safety of the community through lawless and reckless acts.  Lamar remarked, “We are committed to doing everything possible to keep our neighborhoods, towns and cities safe.  We will always seek to hold accountable those individuals who threaten the safety and security of our communities and citizens through illegal and reckless conduct.  The discharge of a weapon inside a crowded public place demonstrates a reckless disregard for the safety of others. In the instant case, the individual discharging the gun was prohibited by law from even possessing a firearm or ammunition.  We will continue to work diligently with our local, state and federal partners to enforce the federal firearms laws and to see that individuals who violate those laws are held accountable.”  

The investigation was the culmination of a joint Federal and State investigation into the shooting with the Oxford Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  The case was prosecuted by AUSA Clyde McGee.


Violent Crime
Updated March 28, 2019