Jackson, Mississippi (CNN)Around Thanksgiving, this crisis-plagued state capital saw a series of shootings that pushed the year’s homicide total past 130, setting a grim annual record for a city that over the last two years has quietly become one of the country’s deadliest.
The killings, like so many in another record-setting year of American gun violence, are not the kind that receive national attention. A local business owner was shot outside a barbershop while sitting in his car. A few days later, a man was killed in a shooting that also wounded a 13-year-old boy. A 22-year-old inside a car was sprayed with gunfire at a gas station. A 63-year-old man whose death by gunfire is still largely unexplained.
In the state’s most populous city, a former Confederate stronghold that would later give way to thriving Black business districts and serve as a hub for the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s, residents are now grappling with a gun violence epidemic that spiked at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic and shows no signs of abating.