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Police investigate shootings, business owner speaks out

Published: Feb. 23, 2021 at 4:32 PM CST
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Meridian police are investigating two shootings that took place Monday and Tuesday.

The first shooting happened on Monday afternoon in the 3400 block of 20th St. Police say a woman was shot in the leg while walking.

“She was just walking in the area when multiple shots were fired. The victim was only struck once, thankfully. No other damage was caused by the shooting itself,” Sgt. Brandon Fireplace said.

The second shooting took place early Tuesday morning on 20th Ave. Fireplace said the victim was shot several times.

“The victim stated that he was walking and there were three unidentified males walking alongside him,” Fireplace explained. “Once the shots started firing, he couldn’t tell if the three males did the shooting or not. He just knew he was struck multiple times.”

The owner of Dub Street Fashion Center, Freddie Miller, said he’s been at the corner of 34th Ave. and 20th St. for 16 years. He explained that shootings have been a problem and hopes for real change.

“Anytime there is a lot of gunplay or violence in an area people come out to enjoy themselves, it’s not good. Any type of violence is not good for business,” Miller said.

Miller said many programs have gone away over the years. He said he came from the streets and served time in prison, but he had ways out that helped him become successful. He wants those same opportunities for today’s youth.

“What programs are being put in place? Who’s coming out? Who’s reaching out? We have a church on every block, where are these leaders we’re supposed to have? Where are the officials that were voted on to take care of problems like this?” Miller asked.

“If these are kids that are out here, they live with someone. They aren’t out here on their own. The guns are coming somewhere and in somebody’s house. These bullets are coming from somewhere. If they don’t have a job, then where are they getting the money from?” Miller questioned. “It may be illegal things to get money. There’s not that many illegal things going on in Meridian that hasn’t been going on for years.”

Sgt. Fireplace said it’s unclear if the shootings are gang related. He said he wants the community to feel safe.

“I really and truly dislike they have to go through that,” Fireplace explained. “These guys are out there being wreck less and causing this hate and discontent with what they’re doing. I prefer someone to come forward and actually speak about what’s going on so we can take action.”

If you have any information on these shootings and want to remain anonymous, you can call the East Mississippi Crimestoppers line at 855-485-TIPS.

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