Gunfire scares residents on New Year's Eve - - Jackson, MS

Gunfire scares residents on New Year's Eve

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By Cheryl Lasseter - bio | email

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - The "Sub 2" neighborhood near the Westside Community Center in Jackson sounded like Baghdad after the clock struck 12 a.m. on New Year's Eve night.  Repeated rapid gunfire could be heard intermingled with fireworks, which are illegal in the City of Jackson.

The sounds were picked up on video by a resident who wouldn't talk on camera for fear of retaliation. He's recently spoken to police about the battleground feels his neighborhood has become, and he feels no one's listening.

That resident is not the only one upset.

"It was terrible. I heard all types of gunshots and fireworks," says another resident, a man who lives with his wife and young child.  All three were awakened by the chaos.  They say it sounded like two sides were trying to outdo each other.

"She walked in our room crying and we picked her up, put her in the bed with us, it still went on," the man says about his daughter. 

"The only thing I could think of was the little girl from the Boys and Girls Club.  I didn't want that to happen again," says his wife.

On December 10, eight-year-old Sanaa Hill was shot in the head by a stray bullet at the Sykes Road Boys and Girls Club. She was indoors doing her homework when the bullet entered the building from outside. She survived.

It's doubtful the bullets fired in the Jackson neighborhood were aimed at anyone either.

"Whatever you're shooting up in the air, it still has to fall, it could fall anywhere, hurt anybody," the woman says.

The video also revealed fireworks lighting up the sky in the distance.

The woman says the fireworks continued into New Year's Day.  Something was fired in the afternoon that shook her entire house.

"Everyone knows it's illegal, but the police don't come out here and patrol like they should either," she says.

"Over the years I've become accustomed to it," says Reginald Harris, who has lived in the neighborhood for 9 1/2 years. 

Harris says he tolerates the gunshots, but enjoys the fireworks. "Most of that was not cherry bombs, it was blue, red lighting, it looked real nice," he says.  "I do understand the concerns of citizens.  If you don't know who's shooting the gun, which direction, you should be alarmed, you should be concerned."

Police tell us gunshots are common all over the City of Jackson on New Year's Eve.

JPD Assistant Chief Lee Vance tells us people find weapons to shoot on New Year's Eve and there's not much that can be done. He says if every person who fired a gun on New Year's Eve was arrested, he'd have half the city in jail.

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