Community: We must pull together

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 22, 2006

PORT GIBSON &8212; Friday&8217;s tragedy was bigger than the small community of Port Gibson has ever seen. But the only place to go from here is forward.

&8220;It&8217;s just devastating for something like this to happen in Claiborne County,&8221; Supervisors President Charles Shorts said. &8220;We&8217;ve never had a tragedy in our county to take place like this.&8221;

All county offices closed after three shootings targeted county employees Friday.

Email newsletter signup

&8220;We might need some counseling,&8221; Shorts said. &8220;But we have to realize if we can come together this is something we can overcome.&8221;

Word traveled fast in Port Gibson, a town of approximately 2,000. Downtown employees were on their way to work when the shootings happened, and many saw the commotion outside attorney Allen Burrell&8217;s office.

Lifetime resident Evelyn West said she saw the police cars and crime scene tape when she drove onto Main Street.

&8220;Even small towns are being affected now,&8221; she said. &8220;We have to look to something more positive and come together.&8221;

Burrell was known and respected by most, community members said, and his memory will become a rallying point for the community, shooting victim and County Administrator James Miller said.

&8220;If the community cares anything about the contributions made by attorney Burrell we will go on,&8221; Miller said. &8220;The only thing the community can do is figure out how we can work together and pull together.&8221;

Resident Catherine Coleman said Burrell&8217;s loss was one everyone feels.

&8220;I don&8217;t know where we are going to go from here,&8221; she said. &8220;We need to heal from here. I&8217;m going to take it one day at a time.&8221;

Alleged shooter Carl Brandon was a part of the community as well and active in his church, Coleman said.