Sheriff Says House Targeted By Shooters 5 Times In 4 Years - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

11/08/04

Sheriff Says House Targeted By Shooters 5 Times In 4 Years

Investigators were working leads Monday trying to find the people who shot up a St. Martin neighborhood early Sunday morning. Residents heard a shower of gunfire hit a home on Dismuke Avenue.

Jackson County Sheriff Mike Byrd told WLOX News his investigators were working a tip they hope will lead them to the van witnesses saw. No one was hit by the bullets but the shooting triggered a fear in that neighborhood. It's a fear that residents say they have felt many times before.

The home hit by bullets on Sunday is next door to Ricky Le's house. Le wasn't there. He's in jail after being arrested last week in connection with another drive by shooting. The Sheriff says Le's home has been the sight of Asian gang shootings at least five times since 2001.

Many of the people living in that area say they've had bullets hit their homes and they're left feeling helpless. They're not alone. Others who live in crime ridden neighborhoods have struggled to take back their streets.

People living in Olivet Subdivision say a few years ago it wasn't the kind of neighborhood someone would want to call home. In fact, those who could, moved out.

Kenneth Henderson was one of them. "Too much crime and nobody was doing anything about it."

It's hard to imagine but the now quiet streets were once filled with the sounds of gunfire. Reverend Nathaniel Jeanpierre says gangs made drive-by shootings a common ritual.

"The gangs had intimidated the residents," he said. "They were afraid to come out of their house to go to work and come back."

It's tough to frighten an ex-Marine with three tours in Vietnam. Rev. Jeanpierre organized an army of fed up neighbors, elected officials and police to take back the streets. It didn't take long for added police patrols, curfews, and arrests to make a difference. Neighbors can now walk outside without worry.

Jeanpierre said "When you make a stand you've got to let them know that you're not afraid of them. You just send a message that you're going to fight them. Good always overcomes evil."

By coming together, People in the Olivet neighborhood made their message clear that crime will not be tolerated.

Reverend Nathaniel Jeanpierre says he's spearheaded neighborhood watches in other neighborhoods including Soria City and Gaston Point and Bel-Aire.

By Danielle Thomas

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