ABERDEEN – A recent shooting incident believed to be connected with a cabin party in Egypt recently was the tipping point for an emotional plea from residents of the area to the board of supervisors June 19 – do something to shut down the parties.
The cabin alongside Old Houston Road has been the site for parties since 2016, with some attracting hundreds of partygoers, loud music and shootings.
“The cabin is for rent for weddings and parties. The very first event caused us serious concerns. It was a huge party. They had the music up so loud, we couldn’t even enjoy the peace and harmony we had enjoyed up until that time,” said a resident who wished to remain anonymous, adding the same instance continued every weekend thereafter.
The family called the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office when each party got too loud and every time a deputy left, the music was turned up again. At a party in 2017, two people said to be gang members from Columbus and Tupelo were shot.
“We thought, ‘Surely, this is it. Two ambulances, sheriff’s cars everywhere, people running and screaming everywhere and two people being shot would end the life of this business, but no. Two weeks later, there was a party for bikers. There were tons of bikers from who knows where, revving up engines, playing loud music and shooting,” the resident said.
The resident added more recently people partaking in illegal street racing in the Egypt area went to the cabin in the early morning hours, and shooting started.
She asked county officials if there are any zoning laws in place or if the property owner has a license to rent the cabin for parties.
“You can file a lawsuit as a private citizen. The other resource is through the sheriff and allowing him to do his job. This is something that’s certainly way out of hand. I can look into it from a perspective of whether the county can actually take action against a citizen with something like this. Somebody who has trash on their property, we can do something about it. I’m not sure about this type of activity if we, as a county, have a law that allows us to do anything about it,” said board attorney David Houston, who will research.
Family members didn’t report the most recent shooting incident to the MCSO, saying they were promised years ago by law enforcement the cabin parties would be shut down permanently and they didn’t know who to trust.
Sheriff Kevin Crook, who took office after the height of the parties described, said he would send an investigator later in the day after the meeting.
“The reason I ran for office is to help people like you. They tried having a couple of parties through the COVID season, and we were able to get intel to stop it before they even started gathering. At 3 o’clock in the morning, we don’t know that’s going on until we get a call,” Crook said.
In other business, Monroe County Emergency Management Agency Director Donna Sanderson said the county is eligible to order more free n95 masks, and it was agreed to provide several for the schools. District 1 Supervisor Joseph Richardson suggested she ask Mississippi Emergency Management Agency officials about the need for child-size masks.
The county previously received several masks for the public, and a place to store all of the masks was discussed.
“If you have the opportunity to order a million masks, I’d say take advantage of them. With as many buildings as we have, we can find a place to store them,” said District 5 Supervisor Hosea Bogan.
Supervisors awarded a $746,873.64 bid submitted by Site Master Construction of Pheba for an airport apron expansion. Houston said the company that previously presented the low bid miscalculated the bid by $10,000, making Site Master the actual low bidder.
James Woodard of Cook Coggin Engineers said Site Master has worked as a subcontractor for the construction of several Pilot truck stops and was highly recommended.
He later updated the board on ongoing projects, saying the Smithville Road box culvert replacement was expected to be completed within three weeks.
The board approved to reappoint Marilyn Sumerford of Smithville to the Itawamba Community College Board of Trustees for a five-year term. Supervisors also approved to appropriate $3,000 in annual funding to the Red Cross, which is budgeted.