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Jackson police say recent shootings may be gang-related

Posted: 8:32 PM, Jul 12, 2016
Updated: 2016-07-13 11:31:21Z

A shooting in Jackson Tuesday afternoon might be the latest in a series of gang-related attacks, according to police.

The shooting happened at the Sunoco gas station in the 1400 block of Frances Street.

A driver shot at a man who was pumping gas, and police say surveillance video shows the man pulled out a handgun and returned fire.

Darnell Moore, who lives next to the gas station, was in his yard when the gunfire started, and says he couldn't believe what happened.

"At first I thought it was firecrackers," Moore said. "Then it got louder and louder and there were just too many of them, and then people started running."

Police say the 23-year-old man who was pumping gas was shot in the leg, and he shouldn't have had a gun.

"We will certainly seek charges on him," Chief Matthew Heins said. "He's a convicted felon, he had a handgun with him."

The 23-year-old was taken to the hospital, but the driver got away. Now police are trying to figure out if this incident is linked to two shootings Monday night.

"At some point people need to be willing to come forward give us information so we can build criminal cases against these individuals and send them to prison," Heins added.

The first shooting was a drive-by in the 500 block of Summit Ave where four people were shot in the head.

"Basically the victims were sitting in a vehicle in the roadway and the suspect vehicle pulled up and started to shoot into their vehicle," Heins explained.

Two of those victims been released from the hospital. One of them is 19-year-old Miacha Tillman police say he's out on bond awaiting trial on two felony charges linked to another shooting. The other two victims are still being treated, one of them is in critical condition.

Hours after the shooting on Summit, someone shot at a house on the 300 block of Griswold Street. Police say no one there was injured but believe these incidents are gang-related.

"These 2 groups of individuals know each other and have been going at each other for quite some time," Heins said. "We have a number of names from prior incidents we're going to take a look at."

Heins says officers have been called to the same spots on Summit and Griswold multiple times. A month ago there was a drive-by shooting on Summit where no one was injured. On May 31 someone shot at a house on Griswold but police say the people inside were not injured.

Heins says he's fed up with the ongoing violence so he will be at a meeting at the King Center on Wednesday to talk about racial issues as well as the spike in violent crimes. That meeting is open to the community and will take place from 6 to 9 p.m.