American Legion Post 3 will reopen

Published 7:36 pm Wednesday, September 5, 2018

American Legion Post 3 on Monroe Street will be able to reopen after a meeting between Mayor George Flaggs Jr., Police Chief Milton Moore and Legion representatives resulting in an agreement to provide better safety and security measures at the Post.

“They’re going to open back tonight (Wednesday), and we’ll (the Board of Mayor and Aldermen) ratify the memorandum of understanding at our meeting Monday,” Flaggs said. “One of the main changes is to eliminate kids younger than 25 if alcohol is being served.”

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The meeting follows a shooting that occurred early Monday morning in an area of Monroe Street near the Post. The victim was taken to Merit Health River Region, where he was admitted for observation and discharged Tuesday, police said. No arrests have been made.

The shooting occurred about the same time a party at the Post was breaking up, causing Flaggs to order Moore to close the Post until further notice.

Although initial information indicated the shooting occurred in the parking lot after a fight during the party, Legionnaires who were at the party said they heard a shot north of the Post on Monroe Street near Fisher Funeral Home.

They said the wounded teen came running to the Post from the direction of the funeral home, saying he had been shot.

Richard Stanley, a member of the Post’s executive committee, said Monday two fights occurred inside the hall during the party, one at 11:32 p.m. Friday involving two men, and another fight several minutes later involving two women. He said the people involved in the first fight were escorted off the property by security officers.

After the second fight, he said, “We shut it down.”

Surveillance video at the hall shows the interior lights going on and the party’s promoter and security guards announcing the end of the party about 11:53 p.m., Friday, and the Legion hall was cleared about 12:05 a.m. Monday. At the same time the party was stopped, Stanley said, police were called to help with traffic, and a police investigator arrived to help with crowd control.

Surveillance video of the crowd leaving the building shows people milling in the parking lot and a security guard trying to get them to leave. About 12:09 a.m., Post commander Shawn Cosgrove, who was in the parking lot, said a single gunshot was heard in the area, and the video shows people looking north, then running for cover. They quickly got in their cars and left.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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