Neighbors say Emerald Pines Apartment Complex is plagued with vi - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Neighbors say Emerald Pines Apartment Complex is plagued with violence

Emerald Pines is a low income apartment complex in Gulfport that residents and neighbors say has been plagued with violence for many years. (Photo source: WLOX) Emerald Pines is a low income apartment complex in Gulfport that residents and neighbors say has been plagued with violence for many years. (Photo source: WLOX)
WLOX News tried to talk with the management at Emerald Pines Apartments about the crime and what they are doing to protect their residents. (Photo source: WLOX) WLOX News tried to talk with the management at Emerald Pines Apartments about the crime and what they are doing to protect their residents. (Photo source: WLOX)
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

Emerald Pines is a low income apartment complex in Gulfport that residents and neighbors say has been plagued with violence for many years.

Just in the past few weeks, someone has been murdered at the apartments while another was kidnapped in broad daylight.

According to crime mapping, there have been 15 crimes at the apartment complex on 39th Avenue in the past month. Those crime include everything from drug violations, to assault, motor vehicle theft, kidnapping, attempted rape and even murder.

Some residents say so much more is happening that goes unreported. Most residents will not talk to you about what goes on at the apartments, but a few will.

"I hear gun shots at least once a week," one resident said. "There's a lot of fighting, people cutting each other. If I could afford to live somewhere else, I would move out."

Another resident said the violence bothers her.

"I have lived here for seven years but have only let my children outside maybe four times. I am trying to find another place to live," she said.

Nearby neighbors had similar things to say.

"There be a lot of stuff going on over there," one neighbor said.

"You hear gunshots and fights, all that type of stuff going on," another neighbor said.

WLOX News tried to talk with the management at Emerald Pines Apartments about the crime and what they are doing to protect their residents. The manager was standing outside, until we walked up. She quickly ran inside and locked the door.

Minutes later, we tried talking with a resident when the manager opened the door and said, "You need to leave." We asked her our question, but again, she shut and locked the door.

"The land lady, she don't really care much either. She's just there for the pay if you ask me, because she don't ever come out much," said one neighbor.

Next door to the apartment complex is Tabernacle of Faith Church. The Rev. Anthony Thompson said he does not turn a blind eye to the violence. Instead, he spends time working with residents and talking to management about the problems.

"The main thing is put a system in to place to monitor the visitors that come in and out," Thompson said. "A lot of problems that we have is because people are coming over that don't live in the apartment complex."

Gulfport police have also tried to make the apartment complex better. Officers have met with management and encouraged them to have cameras and full time security.

"What is disappointing at Emerald Pines is I don't think the proper security is present there," Gulfport Police Chief Leonard Papania said. "It's really incumbent on the management there to speak to the property owners and start bringing a resolution. We spend time in there. More time needs to be spent with security in there."

Emerald Pines Apartments receives money from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. WLOX News has also reached out to HUD's office in Washington, D.C. We will continue to try to get a comment from HUD on Emerald Pines Apartments.

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