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Witness statements can help solve crimes

Two factors made last week’s shooting in Brookhaven particularly troubling: The victim is thought to be 12 years old, and it happened near a church.

The boy, thankfully, is in good condition.

It appears the victim and other juveniles were walking past First Assembly of God Church on North Second Street when they were targeted.

“It was an argument that started on the basketball court in Cloverdale and these kids were walking from Cloverdale headed home. They were just leaving the area walking home,” Police Chief Kenneth Collins said. “We’re thinking that the person they were arguing with came through and saw them walking home and that’s where the shooting came from.”

Witnesses described the driver of the vehicle involved, and police arrested a suspect minutes later.

But it is unclear if he was the shooter as well.

It was the willingness of witnesses to speak to police that made the arrest possible. Collins has stressed the need for the community to work with police, and this instance shows why.

When police have witness statements that include descriptions, they are more likely to make a quick arrest.

There are other crimes that could be solved if the community will come forward with information.

Anyone with more information about the shooting — or other crimes — is asked to call Brookhaven Police Department at 601-833-2424 or CrimeStoppers at 601-823-0150. Tips leading to an arrest may be eligible for a cash reward up to $1,000.