PANOLA COUNTY, Miss. -- Crime tape still surrounds the Hilltop Grocery in Curtis, Miss., because detectives say this building and the land around it have more to tell.
A shootout here early Saturday left 20-year-old Quendez Robinson and 2 -year-old Rodrick Scurlock dead, and as many as three others injured.
Neighbors say the commotion came as a complete shock.
”Not much happens out here like this, not this far out in the County, so it’s a shock yeah,” Jerry Beaver said.
It comes as Panola County has struggled to gain the upper hand against gangs after a series of deadly incidents over the last few years.
”It’s obviously gang-related, you know. We’ve been going on three years working on gang relationships,” said Panola County Sheriff Dennis Darby, who believes it’s a sign that gangs, which used to come from out of town, have begun to take root locally.
Neighbors say they woke up after hearing shots coming from here. But as we found before in Panola County, those people were too intimidated by what happened to talk on camera about it.
Sheriff Darby says that continues to present a problem, but he’s making progress.
”We’ll continue to ask the general public to give us information. We’ll protect you regardless of who you are," he said.
He says that even extends to other gang members.
In the meantime, people here say seeing the sheriff investigating gives them a little comfort.
”Well, they probably have some pretty good suspects. They probably have some leads for starters so that’ll help. I feel a little bit better, yeah,” Beaver said.
”Of course we’re on top of it. We know what happened, we know who did it,” Darby said.
And he says it won’t take long for him to prove it.