JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - In the first thirteen days of the new year, the Capital City has seen a surge of gun violence eclipsing last year’s numbers for the same time period: a 67 percent increase, according to a 3 On Your Side analysis of published reports from the Jackson Police Department.
The surge overshadows the city’s lone homicide of the year, which took place Sunday night at an intersection in the northeastern part of the city, an area which typically sees less gun violence than the other three precincts.
Thus far, fifteen people have been shot or killed in separate incidents.
On Monday alone, four people were injured from shootings.
The brutal start comes after Jackson’s most violent month in more than two years: 42 people were shot or killed in December 2019, despite a specially-created task force’s efforts that month to reduce gun violence.
On December 9, JPD Chief James Davis launched Operation Targeting Gun Violence, which involved not only the department’s detectives but also federal partners.
The day after Christmas, Davis presented reporters with the results of that initiative: 88 arrests, including 33 felony arrests, and 18 guns recovered from violent suspects.
At the time, Davis also said the task force would keep going into the new year if needed.
JPD Sergeant Roderick Holmes confirmed to 3 On Your Side that those officers continue to work the streets to help curb these shootings as part of Davis’ operation.
Last week, Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba rebuked claims that those violent crimes are indicative of a “gang problem,” as U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst said last month.
“We’ve done the data. We’ve investigated the cases, no one else, and we have learned that these are due to interpersonal relationships,” Lumumba said. “When you have high instances of violence in domestic circumstances, how do you connect that to gang activity? What fear are you creating for the community?”