Town of Crawford cancels Christmas parade amid growing concern over spike in shootings

CRAWFORD, Miss. (WCBI) – Friday, the mayor of Crawford decided to cancel the town’s annual Christmas parade amid growing concern over an increase in shootings.

Investigators say that only one person has been injured so far, but say that a number of homes and vehicles have been shot into.

“You can hear the ‘boom, boom, boom,'” says Mayor Willie Parson, describing the sounds they hear all too often. “They’re shooting like 30 or 40 rounds at one time. That’s what I call a war.”

Mayor Parson says this level of gunfire is something that Crawford has never experienced before. The same day she decided to cancel the parade, there was another shooting.

“When they go to the parade, 100 or 200 or 300 people are there and you never know who’s going to have a gun or who’s going to have what,” the mayor says.

Crawford Christmas parade has been an annual tradition for more than 20 years. It was canceled in 2020 because of COVID-19 and now the threat of gunfire has shut it down again.

“We’ve had a pretty substantial increase in shootings recently in the area,” says Detective Drew McCain with the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Department. “We’re currently working anywhere from five to 10 right now.”

Detective McCain says the shooting activity has spiked over the last few months.

“About three vehicles have been shot into that came very close to hitting people,” he says. “We’ve had a couple of houses that’ve been shot into.”

The sheriff’s department is now increasing patrols throughout Crawford.

“Like any other agency, we have limited resources,” says Cpt. Dick Spann with the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Department. “But we felt like there needed to be, at their request, additional presence there.”

However, investigators and the mayor say it will take the entire town working together to bring back the parade and that feeling of safety.

“Talk. Speak out. Speak out,” Mayor Parson says. “If you see something happening, just speak out, because it won’t get solved if you just hold it in and you know who’s doing it. They need to say something.”

Those with information on any Crawford shooting incidents should call the sheriff’s office at 662-328-6788.

The mayor has invited residents to a community meeting with Sheriff Eddie Hawkins Tuesday at 6 p.m. to discuss more possible solutions.

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