Vigil planned for JSU student killed in Huntsville shooting
by Daniel Gaddy
Jan 07, 2014 | 6950 views |  0 comments | 98 98 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A photo of Mercedes Morris from her Facebook account.
A photo of Mercedes Morris from her Facebook account.
Friends and classmates of a former Jacksonville State University student killed in a New Year’s Day shooting in Huntsville will hold a candlelight vigil for the 21-year-old woman Wednesday, Jan. 8.

According to reports from, Mercedes Morris was shot as she sat in a car outside a home on Bridge Road in Huntsville. Police believe the gunfire was meant for the man living in the home because officers had responded to several emergency calls at the residence related to an altercation over a drug deal.

Morris’ boyfriend, who was inside the home during the gunfire, drove her to a nearby gas station, where he called 911, according to reports. Morris was rushed to a Huntsville hospital and pronounced dead there.

Delisha Ledford, a JSU senior and an organizer of the vigil, said many students at the university wanted to hold the ceremony to recognize Morris for the effect she had on so many lives on campus.

“She was a very positive light to a lot of people,” Ledford said.

Ledford laughed as she told how she first met Morris when both were new students at the college in 2010. She said Morris introduced herself with a Jamaican accent, and for a few moments, convinced Ledford she hailed from the island.

“She was just a 20-year-old college student full of life and energy,” she said. “She just wanted to make a difference in people’s lives, and she did.”

Ledford said she and members of JSU’s Phi Beta Sigma fraternity will hold the vigil at 7:30 p.m. on the steps of Bibb Graves Hall.

Morris, originally from Decatur, graduated from Huntsville’s Lee High School in 2010. A JSU spokeswoman said she was last enrolled at the school in the fall semester of 2012. She also worked as a cashier at Jacksonville’s Walmart while she attended JSU.

Assistant Metro Editor Daniel Gaddy: 256-235-3560. On Twitter @DGaddy_Star.

Editor's note: This story has been modified to clarify that Mercedes Morris was a former JSU student.

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