HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - The gang-related crime and violence police say terrorized Waveland has recently escalated in Bay St. Louis.
Police say 18-year-old Jordan Goff was involved in a shootout over the weekend. He is one of four men arrested two weeks ago by Waveland police.
Authorities said Goff was out of jail on bond for just days when he was arrested Monday on more serious gun charges stemming from the Saturday incident at a home on Old Spanish Trail in the Bay.
Assistant Police Chief Mike Prendergast has been with the Waveland Police Department for more than 30 years. He spent his first 15 years on the road as a patrol officer.
"When I started back in 1984, my biggest crimes were burglary, thefts, shoplifting," said Prendergast.
He says times have changed and so have the types of crimes committed in Waveland and across the coast.
"It seems like every time you turn on the news, someone is shooting somebody or police are being dispatched to shots being fired," explained the assistant chief.
Police Chief David Allen said he wasn't surprised to hear the suspect his investigators had put behind bars had bonded out and allegedly became involved in additional gun violence.
"I don't think the problem is with the bonds. I believe that the promise to appear in court is everyone's right. I believe they should have that. I believe the problem here is lifestyle. He gets out and chooses to do something in total disregard for human life. He deserves to go back in. I don't think it was a matter of the bond. It's a matter of his choices," said Allen.
Allen and others who play a role in the judicial system admit it is frustrating to build a case against a suspect, then watch that person roam the streets freely until trial. Waveland City Prosecutor Belinda Tucker says it often seems like a revolving door.
"They really don't have any regard for the law, so they just pretty much do what they want," said Tucker.
Allen said his department will see to it that the revolving door stops.
Anyone with information on any of the recent shooting incidents in Bay St. Louis or Waveland is asked to contact one of those police departments.
Waveland Police Department: 228-467-3669
Bay St. Louis Police Department: 228-467-9222