Jackson Tackles Gangs, Guns

By: Lauren Zakalik Email
By: Lauren Zakalik Email

Jackson Police say the violence that's been plaguing the city's southside since the summer may have to do with feuding gangs. And they believe that feud could be behind Thursday's murder of 19-year-old Mike Adams.

"Some of the people involved, including the victim, have been involved in shots fired in the past few months," says acting Lt. Elmer Hitt of the Jackson Police Department.

According to the Jackson police nixle web site, since October 26 there have been 20 calls of shots fired, including Thursday's murder and the November shooting of a teenage girl while she slept in bed. Ten of those reports have been in the past three weeks.

Hitt says the abundant gun violence has led the department to set up a task force to reduce crime that has neighbors on edge.

"There's always people coming in here, worried about the neighborhood," says Eugene Johnson, president of St. John's United Church of Christ in Jackson.

"If it keeps going, it'll be out of hand and people won't want to come here. That concerns me," Johnson says.

Though community concern is mounting in the area, Johnson says the big issue is that the young men and women participating in the violence are people who feel no connection to the community.

"They're not involved. They don't care," he says.

The Jackson task force has been around for about a month-and-a-half and is partnering with JNET, Jackson County and the ATF. Police say they've made some arrests but won't say how many.

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