MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - The frustration in the city of Moss Point over the steady stream of gun violence has reached a boiling point. A handful of homicide investigations have already opened in the city since the beginning of the year.
The shootings prompted Mayor Mario King to put this issue in the spotlight during a special city meeting Tuesday.
"Today, a family is preparing for funeral arrangements. And today a family sits in the waiting room awaiting a doctor's prognosis for their child. Enough is enough," said King to a meeting room full of citizens and community leaders while fighting back tears.
King hoped that bringing the community together would get the movement going to put an end to the violence.
It was personal for King and also for many of those at the meeting. David Wright was friends with Fabian Dailey, the man killed on Bellview Street Sunday night. Wright spoke up at the meeting.
"I had to sit last night and listen to my friend beg for his life. I had to sit there and listen to that. You shouldn't have to do that. I had to sit there and listen to a kid say please don't shoot me. Your baby saying that, please don't shoot me. And they're in their room minding their own business. If you see something say something. They don't owe you nothing," he said with frustration.
Wright believes it comes down to a simple decision for those in the city wanting the violence to stop.
"I've got a question for Moss Point. Would you rather be dead or would you rather be a snitch, because right now you've got to make that choice. Would you rather be dead or would you rather be a snitch," he asked.
Others agreed and said a lot of the problems can be solved at home.
"We need to get with our kids, our friends, and our family and instill in them the importance of life, family values, and all that entails," said Delisa Perkins.
The attendance at the meeting showed how pressing the issue was for Moss Point citizens.
"I didn't expect to see this many people here, and they're here. So, we care," said Brandon Bazzare.
Lagena Fantroy was at the meeting. She said that her son, Christopher Smith, was killed in 2013, and the case has yet to be solved. She was glad to see King holding a meeting about such a personal topic to her.
"It seems that the community is out to support him, and that means so much to me and I'm sure to so many people," she said.
For King, the goal to end the violence is something that he says is his passion and his job to see to completion.
This is our community, this is our city, and it's time to put our arms around it and love one another," he said.
King announced that the city will be holding a neighborhood watch conference on February 26th.