AP NEWS

Sheriff says fires and shootings appear to be part of feud

December 30, 2018

MONTICELLO, Miss. (AP) — A southwest Mississippi sheriff says a family feud appears to have spurred multiple shootings and two fires over the last week.

No one’s been reported injured, but Lawrence County Sheriff Lessie Butler told The Daily Leader of Brookhaven that he fears violence will lead to someone dying.

“It’s kind of like a family feud,” he said. “A group of kin people that’s got problems within the family somehow or another.”

The problem is, Butler says no one will tell his deputies who’s responsible. He’s asking for people to come forward with information.

“It’s one side that’s got a vendetta against the other side,” he said. “Nobody wants to make a statement. You go up there and nobody has seen nothing. I don’t know if they’re scared of retaliation if they say something.”

The trouble began Dec. 21 in the Oma community, a crossroad with a few dozen houses that’s about 12 miles (19 kilometers) north of the county seat of Monticello.

The first night, there were reports of a shooting at a mobile home. A few hours later, in the early hours of Dec. 22, a neighboring home burned to the ground. No one was home, but officials found more shell casings. About sunrise that morning came reports of a car driving down the same road with a gun out the window, and by 11 a.m. shots were reported at a home less than a mile away.

On Christmas, Butler said a mobile home burned.

“Looks like it was intentionally set,” he said.

Then on Wednesday, deputies were told a crowd gathered at the site of the first fire, but no one was around.

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Information from: The Daily Leader, http://www.dailyleader.com