Time to crack down on shootings

Published 8:14 pm Thursday, October 22, 2020

Natchez has too many shootings within the city limits, and many of those shootings are concentrated in just a few areas of town.

One of those areas is a stretch of Martin Luther King Jr. Street north of St. Catherine Street and block or so over to the west along North Rankin Street.

Last month some one was shot in that area on North Rankin Street and then on Monday night someone was shot in the parking lot of a convenience store at Aldrich and Martin Luther King Jr. streets.

Last year, a homicide occurred in that area on North Rankin Street and in July a man was shot to death in his driveway in the 900 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Street.

Monday night’s shooting, however, might have been the last straw for that area of town as it occurred just across the street from Cathedral School.

Police are still searching for a suspect and a motive and the victim fortunately did not sustain life-threatening injuries.

However, when stray bullets fly out of any parking lot they can end up striking innocent victims in nearby vicinities, thus residents are fed up with the shootings.

So are the police and City Hall.

The Natchez Mayor and Board of Aldermen police committee held an emergency meeting Tuesday afternoon to discuss the problem and decided to hold the owners of two convenience stores in that stretch of Martin Luther King Jr. Street accountable for security in their establishments that are known hotspots of loitering and suspected unlawful activity that frequently erupts in violence.

We commend the city for taking a stand. If the business owners can’t control their property, their licenses should be revoked. However, bad behavior is not likely just to disappear if the businesses go away.

In addition to holding the businesses accountable, it is going to take a concerted effort for the city to patrol that area and make sure the businesses are in compliance and to enforce the city’s loitering ordinances.

Enough is enough!