Hoy Community residents want gun violence to end
PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) - Homeowners on Hoy Road across from Lone Oaks Apartments have bullet holes in their homes, cars and belongings, and say they constantly live in fear.
Just since March, resident Cynthia Darby said they have experienced three drive-by shootings.
On Wednesday morning, Lone Oaks Apartments was the location of a shooting that injured one complex resident.
“We’ve had our houses reinforced, our doors reinforced, security alarms put up, lights put up, we have done everything we can possibly do to make it secure over here,” Darby said.
Property owner and landlord Bethany Moffett said the gun violence has done more than $89,000 worth of damage to her property, but more than that, it’s almost cost the life of a family member.
“My nine-year-old was asleep on my couch,” Moffett said. “When bullets came into my RV and my house. The bullet was this much, this much (from hitting her) and it went slam over her. If she would have sat up, she would have been dead.”
Another resident Kevin Burkes said when they do call law enforcement about shootings, the response time is slow.
“This gun violence stuff is ridiculous,” Burkes said. “I have never seen nothing like it takes police so long to get out here.”
Jones County Sheriff’s Department Investigator Abraham McKenzie said part of the problem with the call times is that there are about four deputies that work per shift that cover a 700-square-mile area.
“People really don’t realize how massive Jones County as a county is land-mass wise, and sometimes, it takes us a long time to get there because deputies are actually working something else and we are spread all out,” McKenzie said.
McKenzie said communication is crucial from the community to solve crimes.
“Many of these crime scenes that we go to, many times we go up, people don’t want to talk to us,” McKenzie said. “But the community needs to know we need their help in order to solve these crimes.”
Community members and leaders like Laurel-Jones County NAACP Vice President Jimmy Stanfield want the violence to end.
“We’re having too much shooting, killing and it’s just gotten to the point that we all are afraid to go outside now,” Stanfield said.
Anyone with information about a crime can contact Jones County Crime Stoppers anonymously at (601) 428-7867.
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