Police investigating gunfire in Natchez city limits

Published 12:59 pm Monday, November 29, 2021

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NATCHEZ — Officials of the Natchez Police Department say they’ve responded to multiple “shots fired” calls in Natchez on Saturday night and found nothing but shell casings upon their arrival.

Natchez Police Chief Joseph Daughtry said bullet shells were found near Natchez Walmart on Saturday night after shots had been reportedly fired in the area.

“When we got there, there was no one there who could tell us they saw anything,” he said, adding, “It was not close to the building.”

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According to E-911 call records, “shots fired” incidents had been reported in the area of Rembert and Concord streets on the same night as many were traveling from out of town for the annual Natchez Christmas tree lighting celebration.

Daughtry said a man was treated at the hospital with what appeared to be a gunshot wound on Saturday but believes it was unrelated.

“He’d sent his wife a text stating he was going to shoot himself but we’re not sure if it was attempted suicide,” he said.

Daughtry said around the holidays — and not just in Natchez — there is a small percentage of people who fire weapons irresponsibly inside of cities, which is both dangerous and illegal.

“The sad part about it is we have so many young people who I’ve driven by on Saturday nights after games at Cathedral, ACCS or Natchez High, and those kids are hanging out, talking with friends and not having any problems. Then someone wants to shoot and fire rounds. We have to shut that down. Our children are crying for something to do, but at the end of the day we have to make sure they’re safe.”

Daughtry said those who illegally fire weapons inside the city lack “respect for weapons or respect for life,” even if firing in the air.

“What goes up must come down,” he said. “We’re going to be actively and aggressively trying to put a stop to this but we need citizens’ help. We need information. We need someone to tell us who is doing this. They don’t have to call us. If they don’t feel comfortable, they can contact Crime Stoppers. We have gun owners who adhere to laws and are very responsible and then we have a small percentage who are not and that makes it difficult for the people who do handle weapons responsibly.”

Daughtry also reminded citizens to be attentive to their belongings and mindful of their surroundings, especially during the holiday season.

“The true definition of crime is opportunity. It is the holiday season and people are in good cheer but we need everyone to stay mindful and attentive. Make sure while you’re out shopping not to leave your purse or wallet places and keep our vehicles locked,” he said.

Those who know something about the shootings or witness criminal activity can reach Crime Stoppers at 888-442-5001 to report it anonymously. Tips that lead to an arrest may result in a cash reward, Daughtry said.