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Councilmen urge Lumumba to enforce existing ordinances after another deadly gas station shooting

According to WLBT’s homicide tracker, Tuesday’s homicide marks the ninth killing at a gas station within the last year.
Published: Jan. 5, 2022 at 10:52 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Shots rang out at the Eagle Gas Station around 7 o’clock Tuesday evening, killing a 14-year-old.

Jackson Police say DeMarcus McGinnis was shot to death while sitting inside his car.

Inside the car with him was a 15-year-old and two 17-year-olds who were also shot but survived.

According to WLBT’s homicide tracker, this is the ninth killing at a gas station within the last year.

“These are common areas. People can meet up. They have little beefs against each other,” Ward 5 Councilman Vernon Hartley said. “Sometimes they’ll take it into some common location.”

Councilman Hartley oversees Ward 5, which is where Tuesday’s homicide took place.

“A 14 year old... a person who hadn’t had an opportunity to live their life, and that life is taken away,” Hartley said. “It’s horrible to see a parent bury their children.”

Prior to McGinnis’ murder, a 22-year-old was shot and killed at a Texaco Food Mart on North State Street last December.

Another example was the killing of Kennedy Hobbs - shot to death at a Texaco on Medgar Evers Boulevard - just hours after graduating high school.

But it was the one that took place inside the Jasco gas station on Woodrow Wilson that prompted the Jackson City Council to pass an ordinance, requiring 24-hour convenience stores to have security between midnight and 5 a.m.

It’s a measure introduced by Councilman Kenneth Stokes nearly a year ago but has yet to be carried out.

“What we’re finding is as we pass items, there’s no enforcement from the administration, which would then force us either to have to start going to court and get the court to mandate that the mayor carry out what’s been voted on by the city council,” Councilman Stokes said.

Stokes said going to court is something the council hopes to avoid but added that their hands are somewhat tied when it comes to making the city a better place to live.

“Shoes on power lines... that’s another law that has not been enforced. When we had money for jail space in other counties, it was never enforced. When we had money to put sheriff deputies into the city of Jackson try to make it safe,” Stokes said.

In total, eight people were shot... and two were killed.

We were unable to reach the mayor for a response to the Councilmembers’ claims, but when we last asked him about why the policy isn’t being enforced, he blamed the Landowners Protection Act.

It’s a state law passed in 2019 that prohibits businesses from being responsible for injuries or deaths on their properties by a third party.

However, Hartley and Stokes both say the city ordinance needs to be revisited, especially in light of Tuesday’s killing.

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