June 11, 2019 11:37:14 AM
Starkville police are searching for suspects after a Monday shooting at McKee Park sent a man to the hospital.
Officers responded to the reported shooting at 6:02 p.m. and found a male victim with a gunshot wound. Starkville Police Department Public Information Officer Brandon Lovelady said the victim was taken to OCH Regional Medical Center for treatment. Lovelady declined to say where on the body the victim was shot.
Oktibbeha County Emergency Medical Services Director Michael Hunt said the victim was treated for a non life-threatening injury and released Monday evening.
According to SPD, the suspects had left McKee Park by the time officers arrived. However, police are searching for a blue Nissan Altima with two black males in it.
Police have not yet provided any information on any potential motives for the shooting.
Several people who were at the park at the time of the shooting took to Twitter, recounting what happened and warning others to stay away.
One user, with the Twitter handle "Poloblk" said, "There's been a shooting, a man was shot in the leg. He was walking on his own. Person not in custody as of yet. My son was playing baseball there. SAD."
Another user, with the handle "dapizfondren," in a series of tweets, said they thought a victim was shot in the leg and that "some yayhoos" at the park "had a shootout all the while there's kids playing baseball."
"It's a shame some people turn petty feuds into gun violence," they wrote. "Even when there's kids playing (an) innocent game of baseball? What a ... shame."
Mayor Lynn Spruill said Monday's shooting is prompting the city to take steps to increase security at events. She said McKee Park was hosting recreational league baseball games at the time of the shooting, though the incident happened in another area of the park, near the basketball courts.
"We'll begin treating those games at the parks like we do the ones at Starkville High School," she said. "For large events, we'll treat it just like we do any other event in town, whether it's sporting or Bulldog Bash. We'll have a police presence where there are large congregations of people and activities."
Starkville Parks and Recreation Director Gerry Logan said the incident was "unfortunate" and the department will do everything it can to assure the public the park is safe.
Police ask anyone who sees the blue Nissan to contact SPD at 662-323-4131 or Golden Triangle Crime Stoppers at 800-530-7151.
Alex Holloway was formerly a reporter with The Dispatch.
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