‘That was for nothing’: Residents react to ‘prank’ that leaves Jackson teen dead

Published: May. 22, 2022 at 10:13 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Another teenager is dead in Jackson after a weekend shooting that police describe as a “prank gone wrong.”

Jackson Police say three teenagers pulled up to a friend’s house wearing ski masks and holding toy guns that looked real.

What was supposed to be a joke ended up as the Capital City’s 54th homicide of the year.

The city of Jackson had the same number of killings on this exact date last year, which was the city’s deadliest year on record.

While Jackson Police label Saturday’s homicide as “justifiable,” residents along Village Drive use a different word: “senseless.”

“There’s a lot of stuff going on now. People are on edge. You look at somebody wrong, and they’ll pull a gun on you, and they’ll want to shoot,” Village Drive resident Demarise Heygood said. “People lose their lives for nothing, and that was for nothing.”

Ward 3 Jackson City Councilman Kenneth Stokes said the same.

“Guns and fake guns are nothing to play with,” he said. “In this day in time where people are killing and shooting each other over nonsense, don’t play like that.”

Stokes said all kids make mistakes, but these kids should have known better.

“Playing with a gun is not a practical joke. It’s similar to you pulling a BB gun on a police officer and thinking that police officer knows it’s a BB gun or a toy,” he said.

Stokes held a town hall centered around youth violence just days ago.

The summit came shortly after three teenagers were charged with murder in Jackson in less than two weeks.

To keep kids out of trouble, the councilman said he’s still pushing for the city to adopt a youth curfew, and he also wants to see more parents held accountable.

“We need to give some mandatory jail time to these bad parents allowing these kids to have guns,” he said.

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