Perception or Reality? Murder #4 has Clarksdale Residents On Edge

Perception or Reality? Murder #4 has Clarksdale Residents On Edge

A lone red balloon marked the spot Timothy Anderson lost his life.
CLARKSDALE, MS -- A lone red balloon marked the spot Timothy Anderson lost his life.

Anderson, 22, was shot and killed early Sunday morning, hours after celebrating his birthday. Police say they responded to a shots fired call near the intersection of 6th Street and McKinley around 3 a.m. on Sunday. Once they got there, they found Anderson's body.

"Every time I see him he had a smile on his face. I never knew nobody who would want to do him like that," said Carlos Rodriguez. "I just saw him, it was his birthday. Good friend of him. Good friend."

This is Clarksdale's fourth murder of the year, compared to 5 in 2012.

"Clarksdale didn't used to be this bad," said Mona Holmes, who lives right in front of Sunday's murder scene. "It was terrible; I stood out here on the porch looking."

"The police just had everything blocked off," she added.

Pirtist Kemp, who runs Kemp's Mini Mart down the street from the shooting, agrees. Kemp opened up for business in 1963, and has seen things decline since.

"It is nothing like it used to be," Kemp said. "It is much more violent then it used to be."

"Clarksdale has got more of a perception issue then a real serious crime issue," said Mayor Bill Luckett. "We had a couple of heinous type crimes that drew a lot of attention to us, but we are still ranked in the moderate category here in Clarksdale."

Luckett, who's been in office for just 3 weeks, says perception is important, especially with the annual Sunflower River Blues Festival set to start in a few short weeks.

"Perception is half the problem," Luckett said. "If you have a bad perception of something it will discourage you from wanting to visit even though underneath it may never be that bad in reality."

Back near the crime scene, Holmes says she recently moved back into the neighborhood after moving away. She's fearful all over again.

"I'm worried, stressed out, shamed really," she said.

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