Columbus mayor, police chief comment on recent gun violence

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – “I just hope that parent understands, while you’re condoning that child for having these guns and stuff, that’ll be the first parent to get up on the news and cry about something happening to their child and then want us to feel sorry for them, but that parent needs to be held accountable, too. I mean it,” said Daughtry.

That’s how frustrated Columbus Police Chief Joseph Daughtry is about the recent gun violence plaguing the Friendly City.

Dispatch received 12 calls from people hearing gunshots from Thursday night to Sunday morning, but there was only one reported incident of someone being hit by a bullet.

“This is not something random. These are individuals that target each other,” said Daughtry.

Just a couple of days ago, the 1700 block of Bell Avenue was riddled with bullets. Now, Daughtry said his department is stepping up.

A 17-year-old was shot Saturday night, in what some say sounded like a Tombstone shootout with people reporting they heard over 70 rounds.

The specific number of shell casings recovered has not been verified.

Daughtry said it’s time for aggressive policing.

“We’re finna get out, including myself. I was out this weekend, my command staff, we’re getting out from behind the desk. And we finna get out on these streets. And we finna show this criminal element that we mean business,” said Daughtry.

The chief says everybody won’t buy into this new method of policing, and that’s okay.

“You have some citizens who complain about they don’t see us and then when we start getting out here and pulling people over and writing tickets, taking people to jail, then they wanna complain. They can’t have it both ways,” said Daughtry.

Columbus Mayor Keith Gaskin says crime is everywhere, not just in Possum Town.

“I gave you some data recently, that I looked back at about six or seven years ago, where Columbus had seven deaths by gunshot and so did Tupelo, exactly the same. The post I put up on my Facebook page showed where it was a post where people from Columbus were talking about all the gunshots they heard and then somebody from Starkville said I heard the same number in this location in Starkville just a minute ago, So I circled that and put that up, not to shine a bad light on Starkville but to remind people that it’s happening everywhere,” said Gaskin.

Daughtry warned his department will be in full force.

“We getting ready to turn it up,” said Daughtry.

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