Coast residents don't let Lafayette shootings alter their plans - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Coast residents don't let Lafayette shootings alter their plans

The D'Iberville Police presence helped give patrons at the Grand Theatre in D'Iberville feel more secure. (Photo source: WLOX) The D'Iberville Police presence helped give patrons at the Grand Theatre in D'Iberville feel more secure. (Photo source: WLOX)
SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) -

The shootings at a Lafayette movie theater, in addition to those just recently in Charleston and Chattanooga, have people wondering if it's safe to go anywhere, but Coast residents are determined to not let what happened change their lives.

That may mean taking in a good movie. The Grand Theater in D'Iberville was crowded Friday afternoon, the day after a gunman killed two people in Lafayette before turning the gun on himself.

For many patrons, there was sadness and sympathy, but going to the movies was a way to thumb their noses at violence. John Thompson, of Vancleave, made a promise to his grandson and kept those plans.

“It didn’t change it all. We had planned on coming,” Thompson said. “I don’t know why people do things like that, but I promised my grandson and I’m going to do what I said.”

The Cummings family wanted to have a good time, and they did.

“The kids wanted to come out,” said Allen Cummings. “We wanted to enjoy a good time and just do something as a family, but it really didn’t deter us that much. We felt relatively safe. When we went through the door, there was a police officer right there just to kind of watch over things.”

Amanda Cummings said it was close to home.

“I really just feel like you can’t live your life like that. You’ve got to live. You’ve got to have fun, and you’ve got to do things as a family. So, we continue to live and put our faith in God and hope that things like that don’t happen to us in our family,” said Amanda.

Amy Manning also made a promise, although she did hesitate.

“We thought about it,” Manning said. “But today’s my son's birthday, and this was one of the things I promised I’d do with him on his birthday. I think when things like this happens, you can’t let them rule your lives.”

A police presence did give moviegoers a sense of security, but D'Iberville Deputy Chief of Police Clay Jones said the best safety tip is the most basic.

“Be aware of your surroundings, pay close attention to when you have safety briefings in the theaters, just like on a plane, where the exits are,” Jones said. “That just isn’t for fire. That’s for any emergency.”

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