Biloxi May Restrict Black Spring Break After Weekend Shootings That Killed 1, Injured 5
Sun Herald, April 18, 2023
A crowd is expected at Biloxi City Hall Tuesday to talk about spring break and how to stop the violence that happened over the weekend.
Black Spring Break drew tens of thousands of people to the beach to attend big-name concerts and other events, primarily in the few blocks between Edgewater Mall and the Coast Coliseum.
When thunderstorms canceled the outdoor events Saturday afternoon and evening, the crowds stayed later than expected on Sunday afternoon, said Councilman Kenny Glavan.
That is when five people, including a Biloxi police officer, were shot near Surf Style on Highway 90, with no arrests made yet. Another person was killed in a shooting in the same neighborhood Saturday. A Louisiana man was charged with manslaughter in that case.
Glavan said the city has a year to make sure the violence doesn’t happen again.
“It’s just escalated to a point of no return,” Glavan said. Not doing anything isn’t an option, he said. Biloxi Police responded to 669 spring break calls for service, the city released Monday, in addition to the overall 2,160 calls for service last week. There were more than 60 vehicles towed and 40 arrests, including 19 felonies.
The offenses ranged from traffic, drug, and firearm violations, to drunkenness, permit violations, officer assaults and shootings, the city said in a press release.
Councilman Felix Gines said spring break has changed from the original draw for college kids who would come to “relax and release” from their studies.
“These ‘kids’ are north of 30,” he said of those who attended spring break. “They’ve taken it away from the kids.”
He doesn’t think the college kids want to come anymore, he said. “When it becomes about guns and drugs it’s not fun,” he said.