HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Gunshots being fired too close to a community soccer field have many players, parents, and coaches in Harrison County concerned.
Teams from South Mississippi Soccer Club were practicing Thursday evening at the fields on County Farm Road when they reported hearing gun shots nearby.
According to Harrison County Sheriff Troy Peterson, the shots were reportedly heard about 300-400 feet from the fields. The sheriff said between six and nine bursts of automatic gunfire were reported, with each burst coming in rounds of threes.
The fields quickly emptied, with people taking cover until deputies arrived. The sheriff and a team of deputies canvased the area until midnight, speaking with every resident who lives in the area and educating each of them about firing a weapon so close to the soccer fields.
While searching the area again Friday morning, deputies found multiple gun casings on an uninhabited property near the field. However, Sheriff Peterson said they can't confirm if they were from the same gun that reportedly fired the shots.
Nobody has admitted to firing the shots, said the sheriff, calling it "very disappointing," especially since it's not illegal to fire a gun outside of city limits, he said.
According to Sheriff Peterson, the coaches who spoke with deputies said they never felt like any one person or group was being targeted by the gunfire. It's still unclear whether this was just someone with poor aim having target practice or if it was something more, said the sheriff, once again stressing that it is not illegal to shoot guns in the county.
In the meantime, deputies have asked residents in the area to call the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department at 228-865-7060 immediately if they hear or see anything suspicious.