Violent week across south Mississippi, citizens taking action

Violent week across south Mississippi, citizens taking action
Friends and family gathered at a Gulfport community center on the basketball court where he often met with friends to play ball, to release red balloons in his honor.(Image Source: WLOX News)
Friends and family gathered at a Gulfport community center on the basketball court where he often met with friends to play ball, to release red balloons in his honor.(Image Source: WLOX News)

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - A string of violent crimes have been sweeping the Gulf Coast.

In the last week, a woman was shot dead in Gautier, a Pass Christian man's bloody and beaten body was found in Gulfport, a Gulfport woman shot in the neck still is clinging to life, and a Gulfport teen shot to death.

"The violence, it's out of hand," said Angela Ellis who is a member of Gulfport Concerned Citizens.

Within a 24 hour period, two people were shot in Gulfport and a passerby spotted the body of a man who appeared to have been beaten to death.

Angela Ellis who is part of a group called Gulfport concerned citizens is no stranger to violence. Her nephew, Raymond Howze, was shot to death two years ago.

"He was killed just walking out of the store. He was only 19 years old back in 2015. It's just been going rapidly since then. It hasn't slowed down at all," said Ellis.

The group has organized a Stop the Violence forum slated for later this week.

'We have to have all the community involved. We have to have school leaders, police, and everybody needs to be a part of this," said Ellis.

It will be in Gulfport but they want to see people from all over the coast participate.

"We need to understand that as a community we need to stand as one, understanding if there's violence happening in one community, it impacts all communities," said John Whitfield who is part of Gulfport Concerned Citizens.

Catrease Hydeis is now forever affected by gun violence. Her son Damien Thompson, 16, was shot and killed Saturday.

"I really don't know how to feel. My son was only 16," said Hyde.

Friends and family gathered at a Gulfport community center on the basketball court where he often played to release red balloons in his honor.

In the wake of her son's death, Thompson's mom already calling for harsher gun laws.

"I think the laws should change a little bit when it comes to gun violence, and I'm not just saying that because it's my child. I'm saying it because of everybody's child who has lost a life to a gun," said Hyde.

The stop the violence forum is scheduled for this Thursday at the Good Deeds Community Center in Gulfport at 6:00 p.m. All coast residents are encouraged to attend.

Copyright 2018 WLOX. All rights reserved.