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Jackson, Miss. Mourns Death Of Mayor Chokwe Lumumba

A prayer vigil is planned and a moment of silence was held Wednesday, the day after Jackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba died.

JACKSON, MS (WAPT)--A prayer vigil is planned and a moment of silence was held Wednesday, the day after Jackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba died.

The mayor, who took office in July, died at 4:55 p.m. Tuesday at St. Dominic Hospital in Jackson. The Hinds County coroner said the 66-year-old died of natural causes.

"It's like a member of your family dying. It's very shocking and very sad," said Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith.

The mood was somber Wednesday at City Hall and at the Hinds County Courthouse, where flags were flying at half-staff in honor of Lumumba.

"He practiced law here and in other states, and he was a very aggressive attorney -- very knowledgeable. He was an intellectual," Smith said. "We so appreciated what he brought to the field of law."

Jackson Fire Chief Willie Owens said the mayor was a close friend. He said they had known each other since the early 1980s and attended the same church.

"The person I knew, first of all, was a good-hearted person. He was a compassionate person," Owens said.

Owens said Lumumba's death is a big loss for the city and a major heartbreak for the mayor's two adult children.

"They lost their mother back in 2003, now their mother and their father are gone, so I just say that we allow them time to mourn," Owens said.

Members of the Municipal League held a moment of silence Wednesday at the State Capitol. A prayer vigil is planned for 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at Smith Park in Jackson.

Funeral arrangements have not been announced.




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