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Governor and state lawmakers react to Mudbugs Festival shooting

Published: May. 3, 2022 at 4:20 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The State Fairgrounds draw in people from around the state, whether it be for the State Fair, the rodeo, the state basketball tournament, or in the most recent case, the Mississippi Mudbug Festival.

One person was killed, and five others were injured in a shooting at the event Saturday night.

While state leaders are ready to help find new solutions, they aren’t pretending to have all the answers.

Governor Tate Reeves says they’re having the conversations you’d expect and looking at what the security plans were for the Mudbug Festival. He hasn’t heard anything yet that raised a red flag in that regard.

“The problem here is not the guns,” said Gov. Reeves. “The problem here is not the law enforcement. The problem here is those individuals that have so little regard for human life that they’re willing to shoot and shoot and shoot amongst innocent bystanders.”

Reeves referenced problems in Jackson and Hinds County, and we pointed out that it happened on state property and asked if the state would be taking additional steps to ensure safety at events held on the fairgrounds.

“People will not come here unless they feel as if they’re going to be safe,” noted Reeves. “I don’t think there’s any doubt that there are people around the state that have doubts with respect to that right now, justifiably so.”

The Governor explained that additional resources are being directed to the Hinds County judicial system following the most recent legislative session.

We checked in with two of the Senators who represent Hinds County. Sen. Hillman Frazier noted that there were several other events in the Capital City over the weekend, including graduations. As for the shooting at the fairgrounds, he says he was hurt to see a life lost and a family activity disrupted.

“It starts in the home,” added Sen. Frazier. “Government can only do so much. And it goes back to the family. We have to work together. The families, the faith-based communities, we have to work together to solve the problem. It’s not restricted to the city of Jackson. It’s a nationwide problem.”

Sen. Sollie Norwood admits that crime is more of a problem in Hinds County. However, he’s hoping the festival shooting will prompt everyone from the Governor down to advocates and families to talk about real solutions.

“I think until we sit down and start talking with one another, we’re not gonna get to the bottom of this,” said Norwood. “As long as we’re talking to one another and talking at one another and pointing fingers, we’re not going to get anywhere. And children and individuals are still dying.”

Ag and Commerce Commissioner Andy Gipson wants to wait for MBI to complete its investigation before commenting on camera. But he made a lengthy post on Facebook.

Please join me in praying and working for Law, Order and Peace. Rampant crime in the City of Jackson, Mississippi’s...

Posted by Commissioner Andy Gipson on Sunday, May 1, 2022

In it, he’s placing some blame on the Hinds County judicial system. He also says he’s prepared to lead the charge to stopping the violence.

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