Gang hostilities result in shooting
By Jody O'Hara
Jul 12, 2013, 10:36
Hostilities between a younger generation of gang members and established older gangsters has resulted in one man in critical condition at a Hattiesburg hospital.
"We've had an ongoing dispute between young wannabes and older gang members dating back to sometime in May," said Investigator Ray Boggs with the Stone County Sheriff Department. "Late Saturday, that dispute escalated into a shooting."
Charlie McCray, a 34-year-old resident of Wiggins suffered gunshots to his neck and legs and is currently in the intensive care unit at Forrest General Hospital.
Those gunshot wounds came from two separate guns.
On Monday, Stone County Sheriff Department deputies and Wiggins Police Department officers arrested O'Bryant Smith for his alleged role in the shooting.
Galen Simmons, the other suspected shooter, is believed to have fled town for Houston.
According to witnesses, McCray was in an establishment at the corner of New Hope and Thelma Andrews roads while Smith and Simmons were in a vacant lot across the street.
Words were exchanged and McCray exited the building and what had been a verbal altercation turned physical and shots were fired.
Boggs called the scene where the shooting took place a, "known public nuisance."
While tensions between the two groups had resulted in gunfire in the past, this was the first incident of someone actually getting shot.
Boggs said the older gang members in the community had not used violence in the past.
"These younger ones coming up think violence is the way to some kind of power," he said.
Sheriff Mike Farmer said he was not going to allow Stone County to resemble the Wild West with problems settled with gunfire.
"I've got good investigators and good deputies and we're going to enforce the law," he said. "Like John Wayne said, 'Life is hard but it's even harder if you're stupid.' Well, some stupid people are going to find out just how hard it can get."
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