Arrests made in shooting at Juneteenth Festival

Published: Jun. 28, 2021 at 11:13 AM CDT
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Three people have been arrested in a shooting that took place at Meridian’s Juneteenth Festival Sunday evening about 9:30.

Meridian Police Chief Chris Read said the shooting stemmed from a fight that escalated between those three people who were attending the event. Read said 2 to 3 shots were fired, but no one was hit.

“When you have that large of a crowd, there are opportunities of these things happening. 98% of the citizens of Meridian and Lauderdale County want to have a good time. They want to enjoy themselves at these events. You have this small 2% that choose that violent lifestyle. That 2%, when we get you, we are going to prosecute you to the fullest. That is not a threat but a promise,” said Read.

People started running after the shots rang out. Entertainer, N’spire Walker, along with her Afrocise dance crew, were there when the shooting happened.

“Being me, I am making sure that my people are O.K. I’m seeing where they are to make sure they are safe. I know that some people stayed when things got under control. Unfortunately, these things happen,” said Walker.

Chief Read shared what he thinks is causing the increase in gun violence in Meridian.

“The reality is you have kids being raised by kids at home. You have kids from age 8 to 24 listening to a group of people that don’t care about their future. They are not listening to those who are investing in their future like teachers, counselors, principals and coaches. These kids don’t realize that the choices they make have consequences. They have the freedom to choose, but they cannot control consequences that follow,” said Read.

Read said the names of the three people arrested are not yet released. But he said charges of carrying a concealed weapon and felony possession of a firearm are pending, among other possible charges.

The chief also said police are looking for any others who may have been involved.

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