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Nine Area Teens Arrested in West Jackson

By Natalie Potts
By npotts@wbbjtv.com

JACKSON, Tenn. - Jackson Police are investigating a late night shooting in West Jackson involving several underage teenagers.

"I mean it's just the violence has sky rocketed and everything seems to be getting worse around here," said resident Samuel Smith.

Jackson Police arrested eight teenage boys and one teenage girl between 15 and 17 years old after a shooting in the Phillips 66 parking lot off of the Hwy 45 Bypass in West Jackson, Saturday.

"It's scary. It's bad, I mean I have teenagers also," said resident Deborah Morgan. "I mean since I've been working here in July all kinds of things have been happening, Jackson is getting really bad."

The owners of the Phillips 66 Gas station told WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News that teens shot four bullets into their store just after midnight.

Police said the gun violence started after officers responded to the Econo Lodge parking lot for a noise complaint.

Some employees at Econo Lodge said there were around 75 to 100 teenagers gathered in their parking lot after a birthday celebration in their rented dining room. They said the party had several chaperones and was rented by an adult.

Officers said when they arrived, the crowd scattered. Moments later officers reported hearing approximately seven shots fired just south of the Econo Lodge parking lot.

Surveillance footage from Philips 66 showed several teenagers running from the gunfire through the gas station's parking lot. The video showed the bullets were fired in the direction of police officers and other teens.

"Just don't see how people can raise their kids to even act like that," said Smith. "It seems like anything that you want you can get. Now drugs, guns anything, I don't know how we are going to stop it because it's ran so rapid and everything has gotten so bad."

After the shooting, police pulled over a silver Pontiac SUV that was quickly leaving Casey Jones Lane. Inside the vehicle investigators said they discovered nine teenagers with a loaded semi-automatic handgun laying in the rear cargo area.

Officials said the serial numbers on the handgun had been altered.

Police arrested three 16-year-old Jackson males and two Jackson males who were 15 and 17.

Police also arrested a 17-year-old Denmark female and 16-year-old Denmark male.

A 16- year-old Three-Way male and 15-year-old Mercer male were also arrested.

Residents said it is troubling to see teenagers involved in this level of violence.

"It ain't like it used to be where we just had fun, you know everything turns to violence and violence turns to killing now," said Smith.

Police said all nine juveniles were charged with possession of a weapon with intent to go armed, and possession of a weapon with an altered serial number.

The teens were booked, then released to their parent or guardian.

Jackson Police said their investigation is ongoing.