‘Everybody just started running’ witnesses describe panic after festival shooting
Published 9:26 pm Monday, May 2, 2022
People enjoying a Mississippi crawfish festival scattered and ran after hearing a barrage of gunfire late Saturday at the state fairgrounds, witnesses said.
A law enforcement officer shot and killed one of the people suspected of firing shots during the Mississippi Mudbug Festival, Hinds County Sheriff Tyree Jones said.
December Parks was attending the festival and said she heard shots.
“Everybody just started running, ‘Ooh, they got guns. They got guns,’” Parks told WAPT-TV.
Jackson resident Jeffrey Greer was flying a drone over the fairgrounds and said he captured video of people frantically scattering.
Edwin Williams told WAPT that he, his wife and their two children had just arrived at the fairgrounds when officers told them the area was not safe.
“The first thing I thought about was to get low, and that’s what we did,” Williams said. “Immediately after the shots stopped firing, we got in our car and we left.”
The sheriff said two or three people exchanged gunfire at about 10 p.m. Saturday in and around a vehicle at a fairgrounds parking lot, about 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) from the state Capitol. He said multiple shots were fired toward the midway. Jones said two juveniles were detained for questioning, and authorities recovered a car, two rifles and a pistol from the scene.
News outlets reported aggravated assault charges were filed against the two juveniles Sunday.
Jones said six people were shot, including the teenager killed by a law enforcement officer. The others were hospitalized for injuries. The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is examining what happened, as it does with most shootings by or of law enforcement officers.
The second annual festival — a spring celebration of crawfish, live entertainment and amusement park rides — shut down after the shootings. Organizers canceled a blues concert and other festival events planned for Sunday.