Neighbors speak out about Jones County shooter - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Neighbors speak out about Jones County shooter


When a tragedy like this happens, you have to wonder if it could have been prevented. While hindsight is always 20/20, some of his neighbors think otherwise.

"If he kept on, that something was going to happen. You don't play with guns," warned Eva Keith, neighbor of Neil Newcomb.

Neighbors tell us Neil has had several run-ins with local residents, one of those involving the discharge of firearms on his property.

"He's been bad to be shooting his guns, walking around through the woods there. Just shooting. And we have reported him several times," said Eva.

Keep in mind, while it is legal to discharge firearms on private property in the county, it is illegal for a registered sex offender to own a gun. She says she reported the activity, but nothing was done.

"They couldn't do anything. As long as he was on his property shooting, they couldn't do anything. Sounds strange to me," explained Eva.

Another neighbor we spoke to said they believed Neil also owned a 9mm handgun. This wasn't the only run-in involving Neil and a firearm.

"He shot our dog, he killed our dog. So my husband had words with him. Even went and made papers out of him. Just deliberately shot him," said Eva. 

We are also told Neil displayed odd behavior while working on his property, including dressing as a woman with a blonde wig. Neighbors described the household as dysfunctional.

When talking about another household that neighbored Neil's home, Eva had this to say. "They have had a lot of trouble with him. Been to court with him I know one time."

Neil Newcomb was a regular attendee of a church in Laurel, including on the Sunday morning of the incident. We are told that Neil displayed no unusual behavior during that service.

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