Jackson news anchor, family threatened at gunpoint while trick-or-treating in Belhaven

Published: Nov. 1, 2021 at 9:28 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Three men with guns threatened to kill a Jackson news anchor, her husband and their small children over a vehicle Sunday night while the family was trick-or-treating in Belhaven.

The robbers approached news anchor Megan West and her husband, attorney Matt Allen, on St. Ann Street, after the couple had already put one child in the car, father-in-law Ben Allen said.

Ben Allen told 3 On Your Side the suspects, believed to be in their teens, put guns to their heads, including one of the children.

Ben Allen recalls that his son told the gunmen that the keys were in the car.

The men were threatening to kill everyone, Ben Allen said, so they gave the robbers their wallets, everything from their pockets.

“She said, ‘Well, I’ve got my baby in the backseat. Let me get my baby out of the backseat,’ thinking they were gonna go in there and find the keys and take the car and leave,” Ben Allen said. “And they said ‘You can.’ So she got the baby. And then they got even angrier when they couldn’t find the keys because they didn’t know they were in the backseat. And so they come to her again, two guns on her, one on the kid, saying ‘We’re gonna blow your head off.’”

At that point, Ben Allen said his son told her to run, and the two carried their children away from the car and ran to their home, which was nearby.

The suspects weren’t able to steal the car because they never found the keys, Ben Allen said, and that’s because one of the children put the car keys in his candy bucket.

Ben Allen, who still lives in Jackson, believes there are still reasons to live in Jackson, but what happened to his family is inexcusable.

“It breaks my heart the disintegration of this city that I see before my eyes, before your eyes, or for anybody. If they deny it, they’re either blind or they’re lying,” Ben Allen said. “These alleged human beings have put pistols in the face of a four-year-old and a six-year-old, dog cussing them, threatening to blow their brains out. It’s hard to process.”

He praised JPD’s response, though, telling us that detectives spent hours with the family and showed them photo line-ups to see if they recognized the gunmen.

But Ben Allen said he hears only excuses about Jackson’s crime problems from city leaders, particularly Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba, who has repeatedly said the root causes of crime need to be addressed to truly make an impact.

“If I hear ‘root causes’ from the mayor, I’m going to vomit. What is the root cause of putting a pistol in a four- year-old’s face? It’s called hate. It’s called evil. It’s called meanness. It’s called no home training,” Ben Allen said.

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