CLARKSDALE, Miss — It’s been a tragic couple of days for one Mississippi town. Clarksdale residents say shootings have been an issue in the past, but this fact does not make seeing them any easier.
“It’s something to be concerned about,” said Clarksdale resident Rusty Ruscoe, “My kids live here, my grandkids live here."
15 people were shot in separate incidents between Sunday and Monday, with one, a 15-year-old teen, dead.
It all started at 2:45 a.m. Sunday, when the Clarksdale Police Department said 12 people were shot in the 300 block of Delta Avenue. Police said the shooting followed an altercation between gang members at a nearby concert.
Shortly after 3:04 a.m., police responded to another shooting, this time finding a man shot on Madison Avenue just a short distance away.
Within minutes, another shooting took place, with a woman shot near Friars Point Road.
In the end, police said 14 people were shot within a 30 minute window. CPD said none of the injuries were life threatening, however a woman involved in the Delta Avenue shooting was still in hospital care as of Tuesday afternoon.
Chief Robbie Linley said CPD and the Coahoma Sheriff’s office is working together to increase their presence across Clarksdale, especially in places with suspected gang activity.
“We’re not trying to do this alone. We’re trying to get all of the assistance we can get,” said Linley.
Before the town had time to digest what had happened, the troubling trend continued Monday afternoon. CPD said their officers responded to a residential burglary in the 1200 block of West Second Street around 4:28 p.m. Monday. Once they arrived, they found 15-year-old Cornelius McGee Jr. dead from an apparent gunshot wound.
Those who knew the teenager described him as a good son, uncle, brother, and athlete.
“He was a basketball player, getting ready to go to high school, great future, and we want to continue to pray for the family at this point,” said John Givins, City of Clarksdale Chaplain.
Linley said when officers arrived at the deadly shooting of the teenager, only one other person was present at the scene, the homeowner, who also happened to be a former police officer.
The city began updating its citizens on the shootings that had taken over the past couple of days at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. This was originally planned to discuss residential and commercial blight throughout the town.
CPD said no arrests have been made in the shootings from Sunday. Since Monday, the shooting involving McGee has been turned over to the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, who said no arrests have been made in the case.