Sheriff tries to ease fears after random person killed and several wounded in gang retaliation shooting in Mississippi town

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COMO, Miss. – Deputies with the Panola County Sheriff’s Office took to the streets of Como and Sardis, Mississippi on Wednesday night to address ongoing violence between rival gangs in the two cities

“Innocent lives are being taken over something that is stupid. This does not have to happen,” said Panola County Sheriff Shane Phelps. “My biggest concern right now is for mother, a child, or a father being shot at and a life taken over something that shouldn’t happen.”

One person was killed and three others wounded at two different locations in Como late Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning.

Authorities: Como shooting may be gang-related, connected to recent homicide in Sardis

Sheriff Phelps said it appears the shootings were in retaliation for a deadly shooting Sunday in Sardis. The alarming part, he said, is the victims in Como were random.

“The information we are gathering right now is that it’s random,” Phelps said. “It’s going to be random from last night. I think the one on the 25th was targeted, but last night was random.”

Home near Warren & Cherry in Como where two people were shot

Sheriff Phelps said his department has been concerned about increasing violence between gang members in Sardis and Como and said children as young as 13 or 14 are getting drawn into the lifestyle.

“What I’ve seen on Facebook is these young kids that have Dracos, they have guns, pistols they are posing with for pictures,” he said. “It concerns me that these kids are this young, and they are out here on social media posting this stuff.”

Phelps is asking parents to keep tabs on what their kids are posting online and who they are texting. In the meantime, he wants those committing the violent acts to know that it won’t be tolerated. He said his department is joining forces with other agencies to make the streets safer for everyone.

“We are going to be out in full force. We are going to have two or three teams out in different areas all hours of the night up until the early morning hours, and we are going to be out making sure that we can hopefully prevent this from happening again,” said Sheriff Phelps.

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The sheriff said three people have been arrested and charged with first-degree murder in the drive-by shooting Sunday in the Green Hills Subdivision of Sardis, but he had not identified them.

If you know anything about the recent shootings in Como, contact Panola County CrimeStoppers at 1-888-8CRIMES

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