Sheriff: KKK rumors unfounded

Published 12:15 am Sunday, July 17, 2016

NATCHEZ — Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten said rumors spreading across social media that a hate group has been buying guns and shooting at people in Adams County are completely unfounded.

Friday evening and Saturday morning rumors that members of the Ku Klux Klan had been recruiting in downtown Natchez and had even fired weapons at some people in the area began to spread across social media platforms Facebook and Twitter.

Some of those sharing the rumor responded by saying they needed to get weapons to protect themselves.

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Patten said he had heard the rumor himself — “I got about 29 texts in reference to that, and I had so many people tag me on Facebook” — but that it was “absolutely not true.”

No shootings happened in Adams County Friday night or Saturday morning.

“They said there were 12 guys from the Klan that went down to (a local sporting store) and bought 12 guns (Friday) night, and were planning on wreaking havoc in Adams County,” Patten said.

“But I talked to the owners, and they said they only sold four guns that day, and one was to a deputy sheriff.”

Patten said he did not know the source of the rumors, but that residents should not perpetuate online rumors.

“People are uneasy right now with things going on throughout the U.S., and something like that could spark something to happen that wasn’t going to happen because of a miscommunication,” he said. “People need to quit spreading those types of rumors because groups like that love it because they feed off fear. We don’t need to quench their thirst by feeding those rumors.”