Video captures scene as gunfire erupts near Natchez lounge

Published 6:13 pm Sunday, March 31, 2024

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NATCHEZ — A barrage of gunfire rang out in the early morning hours of Easter Sunday after an altercation turned to weapons. Fortunately, no one was killed.

Natchez Police Commander Jerry Ford said his department is in the early stages of investigating the incident.

“All we know right now is an altercation had taken place from what we were told inside of Truth Lounge. Some guys had gotten into an argument and they were put out of the lounge,” Ford said. “Once they got outside, a fight broke out and shooting started.”

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He said the gunfire erupted on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street between Franklin and Main streets in the area of the old Goodyear Tire store at approximately 2:55 a.m.

One bystander was hit in the leg by a stray bullet, Ford said. That person’s injuries were not life-threatening.

“No one is under arrest at this time. We are still investigating it as we speak,” Ford said.

Rickey Banks, owner of Truth Lounge who was contacted Sunday afternoon, disputed Ford’s statement that the altercation began inside Truth Lounge.

“That is not correct,” Banks said. He said he did have paid security guards on scene at the time.

“We never open the facility without security guards,” he said.

Banks referred all other questions to his legal counsel.

Ford asks that anyone with information about the incident please come forward.

“It is still early on in the investigation. We do ask that anyone with information call Crime Stoppers at 888-442-5001 and you will remain anonymous,” he said.

Or call the Natchez Police Department at 601-445-5565 and ask for Commander Ford or have information relayed to him.