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Lawrence Co. Sheriff: ‘Family feud’ needs to stop

It’s a family feud in the Oma community that nobody will win, said Lawrence County Sheriff Lessie Butler.

Deputies, investigators and firefighters have been busy since Friday with reports of shootings, suspicious activities and two structure fires that Butler believes are connected.

No injuries have been reported.

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

Butler is asking individuals to come forward with information that could help deputies make arrests in the cases, and put an end to the violence and retaliations before someone is seriously injured or killed.

“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 melee started Dec. 2` at 10:34 p.m. at 242 Mt. Olive Road when reports came in about a shooting at a mobile home.

Deputies found a few spent .40 caliber shells there.

At 1:43 a.m. Saturday, a structure fire was reported at a house at 251 Mt. Olive Road.

“A house ended up on fire and burned all the way down,” he said.

No one was home at the time of the fire. Five shell casings were found there, he said.

Six hours later, deputies received reports of a red or maroon car “driving up and down Mt. Olive Road with a gun out the window,” Butler said.

At 11:13 a.m. that day, shots were reported at a home on Mildred Little Road less than a mile away. Deputies found five 9 mm shell casings.

“They said there was something hitting on top of the house,” he said. “But nobody won’t tell nothing.”

On Christmas Day, at 1:12 a.m., reports came in that a mobile home at 5361 Hwy. 27 North was on fire.

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

No one was injured in any of the shootings or fires.

At 4:20 p.m. Wednesday, the sheriff’s office received a call of a crowd gathering at the burned shell of the house at 251 Mt. Olive Road, but no one was there when deputies arrived, Butler said.

The sheriff said all the property owners are “kind of kin folks in a roundabout way” and he’s concerned someone is going to take the vendetta too far.

Butler asks that anyone with information about the crimes call Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office at 601-587-2961 or Metro Crime Stoppers at 601-582-STOP (7867). Tipsters can also go online at www.p3tips.com and select Monticello as the location.

Tips are confidential and no calls are taped, traced or recorded, Butler said. All callers are given an identification number to claim cash reward money. Reward money amounts are decided upon by and subject to the discretion of the Metro Crime Stoppers board of directors.