A man was killed at popular tourist attraction Graceland Too in Holly Springs last night, at 200 East Gholson Avenue. The Holly Springs Police Department confirmed earlier today that 28-year-old Dwight Taylor, Jr., was found dead from an apparent gunshot wound on Gholson Avenue, lying in the front room of a residence on the street. Marshall County Coroner James Richard Anderson has confirmed Taylor was shot just inside the front door of Graceland Too by the establishment’s resident and operator Paul McLeod, with a .45-caliber round. Police discovered the body after responding to a call, reporting that a man had been shot, at around 10:40 p.m.
Phillip Knecht, attorney for McLeod, issued a statement on McLeod’s behalf, stating that McLeod heard loud banging at his front door, opened the door, and an adult male broke the glass of McLeod’s front door, forced his way through the door and demanded money from McLeod. Knecht stated further that the man refused to leave the home, and an altercation occurred inside the home, “resulting in the perpetrator’s death.”
Holly Springs resident Wallace Lester knew Taylor, and says he often went door to door looking for odd jobs. Oxonians may know Lester as the drummer in wife Shannon McNally’s band. The couple lives a few blocks away from Gholson and interacted with Taylor a number of times—including the night of his death.
“He’d just left our place, but Shannon was busy and told [Taylor] she’d help him out today,” Lester said. “The guy was kind of homeless and did work for us, and we tried to help him out a lot. He was a great guitar player. He was trying to get his GED. He had nowhere to go, so he’d come to us for food or clothes. He needed meds. He was troubled, but a good guy. We tried to help out as much as we could, but he needed more than we could give. It’s sad. I saw him every day. He was funny and pretty smart.”
Graceland Too is McLeod’s home and a shrine to Elvis Presley, open to the public for tours. It attracts Elvis fans from all over the world as well as late-night visits by Ole Miss students, among others.
UPDATE: Earlier today when we broke this story, the Holly Springs police would only tell us the Taylor was found inside a residence on Gholson Avenue and would not confirm what multiple sources in Holly Springs were telling us, which is that Paul McLeod shot an alleged intruder in Graceland Too during an argument or altercation with the victim. We updated our story when the coroner confirmed the victim was shot by McLeod at Graceland Too. However, evidently in the several hours since our story ran, the police have been more willing to share more details with various media outlets, confirming what we had already been told.
— Tad Wilkes, firstname.lastname@example.org