STONE COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Is a weekend shooting in Stone County what will finally convince enough people to speak out publicly in favor of shutting down a night club? That's what Stone County sheriff's deputies are wondering.
On Wednesday, authorities arrested a fourth person, K'ron Lomax, for aggravated assault in connection with a shooting outside the Cadillac Club. Deputies said at least 15 shots were fired.
This is just the latest of many violent incidents on the property. Deputies said they have tried unsuccessfully for years to get the club declared a public nuisance and shut down. They say they will try again, but this time they're hoping for more community support.
No one was hurt when gunshots rang out outside the Cadillac Club on Thelma Andrews Road, but people who live in the neighborhood have had to wonder what will happen if there is a next time.
"When a round leaves a weapon, they could hurt someone," said Morris Richardson, who lives next door to the club.
He said his wife was frightened after being awakened by the sound of gunfire.
"It's going to land some place, and it could hit anyone. The children here. The innocent people here," said Richardson. "Even the people who aren't innocent. Someone is going to get hurt, and that's not good."
Deputies said Saturday's incident was the second shooting here in a year. They have also been called in recent years for stabbings, cuttings and numerous fights.
"A lot of it, and most of it, is outside in the parking lot. Any place like that where violence starts, it gets worse as the night goes on," said Lt. Ray Boggs. "They like to congregate in that parking lot and the vacant lot across the street."
Deputies said people are constantly complaining to law enforcement about wanting the club shut down. However, the sheriff's department keeps coming up short in having the Cadillac Club declared a public nuisance, because deputies said for the process to work, people have to be willing to go on record to complain.
"A lot of them are somewhat hesitant to come forward, because it deals with a lot of family. We here in this small town, it affects everybody's family," said Boggs. "They'll tell a police officer they're displeased or the sheriff's department they're displeased, but as far as going on the record, they'd rather not be identified. Maybe this time, with the help of the public, maybe this time we'll get it pushed all the way through and something can be done."
Robert Womack, one of the owners of the Cadillac Club, said the management has tried repeatedly to keep people from hanging around outside, but the no loitering and no trespassing signs have gone ignored. He said he plans to meet with the other owners to discuss how to handle the situation.