Mississippians Taking Precautions in Face of Shootings, Rumors

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(Tunica County, MS)  People say they’re paying attention to the news coverage of the incidents, and they’re avoiding certain areas at certain times of day.

One thing that isn’t helping are rumors.

Folks say the talk about the crimes is, in some ways, scarier than the shootings themselves.

Lynn Sturgill took notice of one interstate shooting, but when there were two, she and others, started hearing all kinds of things, ”There were so many rumors going around.  I mean, people came to my husband’s business and he called me up saying three poople have been killed out by Banks."

Of course, that wasn’t true, but she and others say they’ve stopped driving alone and late at night.

E-mails, and Facebook postings talk about other shootings and that has people scared.

”I think everybody’s concerned obviously, about a possible serial killer. It doesn’t look to me like that’s what’s going on," said Jim Franks of Hernando.

Law officers agree and say none of the rumors are true. 

They insist they only have two connected shootings of people who otherwise aren’t connected.

They also said they’ve instructed officers to give motorists some breathing room on traffic stops.

”All our guys know to, if somebody doesn’t stop immediately, if they’re driving a safe speed, they may be going to a gas station to a well-lit area," said Walls Police Chief Gary Boisseau.

Officers have said to turn on your emergency flashers to acknowledge them, and proceed safely to a safe area.

Lynn Sturgill adds, people need to stop spreading rumors, and listen to the facts, ”In small towns, in rural Mississippi, it’s normal.  You’re gonna hear it. I think people need to be real sure about what they’re repeating before they repeat it."

Because even today, the rumors keep coming, and law officers keep telling us none of them they’re heard are true.