As many welcomed in 2021 with fireworks, others seemed to choose a deadlier method of celebration.
Many Greenwood residents took to social media to report instances of gunfire mixed in with the traditional illuminated displays.
Taylor Buchanan is among those who experienced the results of random fire firsthand.
Buchanan said he and some guests were at his West Claiborne Avenue home Thursday night listening to the fireworks when they heard a loud, strange ping and thud about 6 feet away from them.
When Buchanan went to examine what had happened, he discovered a .380-caliber piece of lead that had pierced the roof of the porch and concrete.
“We were really fortunate,” he said Friday afternoon.
Buchanan said that the bullet completely came through the porch’s sheet metal and installations. “Had it fallen on someone, it would have made entry,” he said.
Mayor Carolyn McAdams said she was aware of this problem on New Year’s Eve and called it “very unfortunate.”
“I just don’t understand the mentality of this,” she said Friday.
There was an increased police force Thursday night, but the sheer volume of incidents made it difficult for officers to handle and trace them, McAdams said.
McAdams said she did not know how many calls law enforcement received concerning these shots Thursday night, and Greenwood Police Chief Jody Bradley could not be reached for comment.
Also, the mayor said, unless people report specific locations for the gunfire, responding is “like trying to find a needle in a haystack.”
Buchanan agreed, saying he does not fault officials for what happened Thursday night because the situation was “out of their control.”
“There was no way they could have gotten everyone,” he said.
However, he did say that a more proactive response by city officials could help reduce this kind of behavior in the future.
McAdams said that a resident did send her a video clip of some celebratory shots being fired.
She said she will hand it over to the police and bring this issue up to the City Council on Tuesday.
“We have got to get something in place that stops this,” she said. “We have got to get a handle on this in 2021.”
McAdams said that although this kind of celebration has been a problem in the past, she wonders whether the large number of shootings that occurred in 2020 made citizens more aware of it this New Year’s Eve.
This past year, there were 23 homicides in Leflore County, with all but one being a result of gunfire.
•Contact Adam Bakst at 581-7233 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter at @AdamBakst_GWCW.