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Total of 230 mass shootings in 2021

Updated: May. 24, 2021 at 6:23 PM CDT
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - The Gun Violence Archive reports 230 mass shootings in 2021 alone. An overall uptick of 23% more deaths this year due to gun violence.

Criminal justice instructor at Meridian Community College, Diann Sollie says more mass shootings and suicides will unfortunately happen.

“I don’t think it is unexpected to be seeing more of this.” Sollie said, “It’s unfortunate but I don’t think it’s necessarily unexpected from a physiological or theoretical position.”

Sollie says according to research, rapid change within society like the coronavirus pandemic, only increases the chance for horrific events like mass shootings.

“When we look at mass shootings, if you look at the research,” Sollie said. “There’s like four different main types. Some of them relate to depression-- like they kill themselves and family members. Then, you might see it related more to depression. Which might relate to loss of loved ones, loss of jobs or the change in the economy. Many of those things that we’ve seen.”

Sollie says revenge also plays a part in mass shootings.

Meridian police chief, Chris Read says he monitors national violence statistics.

“Anything can happen here. I do know that we in law enforcement-- not only on the municipal. But the county, federal entities, and partners we have. We are proactive in this.” Read said, “We see what’s happening nationally and we know it can have a trickle-down effect.”

Read says any crimes in Meridian that cross a federal threshold will be prosecuted to get federal indictments.

“We’re going to prosecute to the fullest. We are going to do everything in our power. I know that I am, as long as I’m in this position.” Read said, “To partner with our federal partners. With the U.S. attorney. Any crimes in Meridian that crosses that federal threshold, we’re going to prosecute and get more time.”

Read says Project Eject comes in to play with situations like this. The program was put in place to help curb violence in the city.

Sollie encourages people to be more aware of their surroundings and check in on the people who may have a mental illness or are struggling emotionally.

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