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Flaggs on LD’s: I plan to address it once and for all

The man wanted in connection to a Tuesday night shooting at LD’s Bar and Lounge in downtown Vicksburg, and the bar itself, have a lot in common — mainly a checkered past.

James Earl Winters, 29, on Wednesday was identified as the suspect wanted in connection to the shooting that left three people injured, one critically. Winters has a criminal history dating back to 2011, when he was charged with contempt of court. It got worse from there, as he was charged with shooting into an occupied dwelling and two counts of attempted aggravated assault in 2012.

In 2013, Winters was charged with felony possession of marijuana.

LD’s, the restaurant and bar located next to a playground and park visited by tourists and residents alike, also has a history.

In the past year, from Oct. 6, 2019 to Oct. 6, 2020, records from Vicksburg Warren 911 show officers have been dispatched to the 1111 Mulberry Street location 75 times. The calls range from assaults and fights to calls to clear the parking lot and responding to wrecks.

On July 12, the establishment was shut down by city officials following a brawl that broke out just outside the front door. The fight went viral on social media and led to city officials ordering the business temporarily closed until better security measures could be put in place, as well as a $1,000 fine under the city’s COVID-19 civil emergency orders because the crowd size violated the city’s social distancing restrictions.

A message left for the owner was not immediately returned Wednesday.

Mayor George Flaggs Jr. again shut the business down following Tuesday’s shooting. One person was critically injured with multiple gunshot wounds to the abdomen, a security guard was shot in the leg, and another individual was shot in an undisclosed location.

Flaggs is scheduled to address the situation with LD’s and future actions to be taken on its operations during a Thursday press conference at 10 a.m. The press conference can be viewed live at www.facebook.com/thevicksburgpost.com.

During Wednesday’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting, Flaggs previewed what might be coming in Thursday’s press conference.

“I am researching the statute and I will let you know tomorrow what I intend to recommend to the board for approval sometime next week,” Flaggs said. “We can not, under any circumstances, allow that playground to be adjacent to that bar and lounge, and that bar and lounge be adjacent to the splash pad or the playground. I don’t know how it happened. I wasn’t here. But, I plan to address it.

Flaggs said the city has worked with the establishment’s owners in the past — agreeing, he said, to two memorandums of understanding that called for changes to the business’ operation and security that appear to have failed.

“They have run out,” Flaggs said.

“There’s no way we can protect the children of our city, or our young adults, with a bar and lounge adjacent to a playground that has the City of Vicksburg’s seal on it,” Flaggs added. “So, I intend to address it once and for all.”

About Tim Reeves

Tim Reeves, and his wife Stephanie, are the parents of three children, Sarah Cameron, Clayton and Fin, who all attend school in the Vicksburg Warren School District. The family are members of First Baptist Church Vicksburg. Tim is involved in a number of civic and volunteer organizations including the United Way of West Central Mississippi and serves on the City of Vicksburg's Riverfront Redevelopment Committee.

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