Welsh officials seek outside help for violent clashes

A series of violent clashes in the Town of Welsh have caused city and police officials there to ask for outside help. First we heard of it was last night when shots were fired into a house-- turns out it's the fourth or fifth episode of violence over the past week. And now both residents and town officials fear if it doesn't stop someone is going to wind up dead.

It's quiet enough here in welsh on this hot summer day. But scarcely twelve hours before a shot was fired inside the bedroom window of this house where it went through the headboard of a bed and went into the wall. 41 year old Patricia Ann Jackson and her boyfriend were in that bed when the shot came through the window."All of a sudden we heard a gunshot. Went pow! Then we heard two more, pow pow. And all I could just do was fall on the floor."

There were also four children in the house. It turns out the shooting is the fourth or fifth episode of violence in this neighborhood in a week. Jackson says the violence stems from an ongoing feud between two groups. "Just want them to leave me and my family alone. Just leave us alone. I don't know what they want, what they trying to do. But I'm going to do all I can to protect me and my family. Because I know, the ones trying to kill us? It's not over. This is just the beginning. It's not over."

Jeanette Jones has a different take on who may be at fault in these escalating clashes-- but she agrees something needs to be done. "What's going on in Welsh is due to one person. One woman. She's carrying all of the mess. She was sent out of Lake Arthur and she brought the mess with her."

Town officials admit this situation is getting out of control..they've asked the FBI to come in and they're holding a special town council meeting on Saturday morning to ask the governor to send in the State Police. Town Police Chief Tommy Chaisson says the clashes have stopped short of rising to the level of a riot, still he says street fighting has involved crowds of up to 45 people and this is the second time shots were fired.  "To know exactly why one group of individuals is after another group of individuals, at this point we don't know. But it is getting worse and it's getting worse and worse. And we're requesting help."

He says last night's shooting does not appear to be random. "It appears, the path of the bullet, someone was trying to hit someone intentionally. I don't think it was an accident."

That town council meeting gets underway at 10:30 in the morning at city hall. They expect to finalize a letter to the governor explaining why outside help is needed and they'll adopt a resolution asking for state police to assist.

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