There's a call for action from some within the community after an elderly Meridian woman was robbed at gunpoint.
"I can't go through this no more," says Annie Cockrell. She's talking about being held up at gunpoint. Less than a day after being released from the hospital, Mrs. Cockrell was held up at the variety store which she has owned for decades.
The crime happened about ten last Thursday morning. That's when Mrs. Cockrell, who's 85, says that a young black male wearing a plaid shirt, blue jeans and a brown jacket came to her store asking to buy a drink. He then proceeded by giving her $1 to make the purchase.
"I went in the drawer to get the change for the $1 to give him back, and that's when he drew his gun, and I asked him please don't shoot me."
Mrs. Cockrell lost her son, Minister Sam Cockrell, in the 2003 shooting spree at the Lockheed Martin Plant in Marion. She says she's extremely afraid of guns.
"I don't understand for somebody to just take what some old lady has."
Mrs. Cockrell and her husband opened the variety store about sixty years ago. However, after what happened last week, she says with a heavy heart she has no choice but to close it.
"I tried to be here for the little children and people if they needed washing powder or a little sugar, whenever they needed it they could just come right here and get it, but they're going to have to go somewhere else now," says Cockrell.
"I've known Mrs. Cockrell all 55 years of my life, and it's a shame how people would come up here and take from her as long as she's been in this neighborhood," says Don Benoman. "I was raised up in this community 55 years and it has never been this bad, and I try my best to talk to some of these youngsters, but they don't want to listen."
"These young people need something," says Cockrell, "but they need to get it at home first. The home has got to come first, then the church and then the community."