STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA) - Starkville city leaders are concerned about the juvenile crime rate.
This comes after recent shootings that involved juveniles.
“If you see something, say something,” Mayor Lynn Spruill said. “We are in a heightened level of concern and everybody is a part of the solution.”
One such incident happened on Easter with the death of 17-year-old Clifton Files. Police arrested two teenagers.
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Police arrested a 16-year-old for a shooting that happened on Saturday, April 17, at the Brookville Garden Apartments.
The latest shooting happened Tuesday, April 20 at McKee Park. Police arrested five teenagers from Columbus.
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“It occurred at a park where we had league games going on, baseball league games going on, and that is just so totally unacceptable,” the mayor said.
She is worried.
“I struggle with why suddenly things are happening. Although I can postulate that suddenly the pandemic is just about over. People are coming out; there’s pent-up emotion, frustration, demand, and so all of that mixes in and creates a certain volatility.”
Police are seeing repeat juvenile offenders; many of whom have been arrested for similar or worse crimes.
“We’re at a point now where we’ve gotten to be a larger city, but that doesn’t mean that we can feel less safe in Starkville than we have in the past," Spruill added. "And I intend to make sure that people do feel safe."
Spruill said she personally will visit the city parks at night to monitor for safety issues and address any concerns.