Residents say drug problems escalate to drive-by shooting
DAMAGED WINDSHIELD Bettye Segars points Monday to what she described as bullet holes in the windshield on the driver's side of her truck. Segars and other residents near the Alamucha-Whynot Road in southeast Lauderdale County told Lauderdale County supervisors that a man in a brown car drove by their homes Saturday, pulled out a rifle and shot at them. The residents said an escalating drug problem in the area led to the shootings. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Fredie Carmichael / staff writer
May 4, 2004
A group of southeast Lauderdale County residents said Monday they are frightened by what they call an escalating drug problem in their community that spawned a drive-by shooting over the weekend.
The residents, who live on and near Alamucha-Whynot Road, said someone in a brown car drove by several homes Saturday, pulled out a rifle and fired shots shattering a window and nearly hitting children.
Harper and others said several people were in their front yards and had been videotaping speeders on Alamucha-Whynot Road when the driver of the brown car slammed on his brakes, turned around and began shooting.
Lauderdale County Sheriff Billy Sollie, who attended the supervisors meeting, said deputies responded to the area shortly after 6:15 p.m. Saturday and "could not find a bullet hole in any house, no windows shot out."
But, he said, the sheriff's department is continuing to investigate the alleged shooting and will continue to follow leads in the case.
Harper, who was visiting family in southeast Lauderdale County at the time of the incident and who served as spokesman for the group of residents said law officers need to do more to fight the drug problem.
Harper said he and his wife were all standing in front of a home on Alamucha-Whynot Road when the shootings began.
Bettye Segars, who lives nearby on Otis Shirley Road and has been video taping the speeders, said residents in the area "should not have to live in fear."
Sollie said his department is helping. He said his deputies have responded to Segars' home 36 times over the past 16 months and he encourages Segars and others to continue to call the sheriff's department.
He also said the alleged drug problems have been reported to the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics and are being investigated.
As for the sheriff's department's patrol of the area, Sollie said the increased phone calls have resulted in more arrests.