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Friday, May 31, 2019

Employee Fired For Pointing a Gun at a Black Couple Over Picnic Reservations

White campground employee points gun at Black couple in Starksville, Mississippi

White campground employee points gun at Black couple in Starksville, Mississippi

Starkville, MS — A white female campground employee has been fired after she reportedly threatened and pointed a gun at a Black couple who were just looking for a nice place to spend their afternoon and set up a picnic with their dog.

On Memorial Day, Franklin Richardson and his wife Jessica planned to do a picnic at Oktibbeha County Lake, a known fishing spot near Starkville, Mississippi. But not long after setting their foot on the property, a White woman suddenly parked her vehicle next to theirs, went out, and pointed a gun at them while shouting and threatening them to leave because she said they didn’t make a reservation.

Jessica shared a video of the incident on Facebook. “This lady literally just pulled a gun because we’re out here and didn’t have reservations,” Richardson said as the woman, who said she was the property manager, walked closer. “The only thing you had to do was tell us. You didn’t have to pull a gun.”

The elderly woman, who was wearing a yellow Kampgrounds of America shirt, was still holding the gun in her right hand when she said they couldn’t enter the property since it’s privately-owned. She finally put the gun in her short pocket before telling them, “Y’all just can’t be out here. KOA won’t let you.”

Apparently, the Richardsons didn’t know that the picnic spot by the lakefront was under private ownership. And when they asked another property manager, who is the woman’s husband, he said reservation is not needed. That’s why they were shocked and confused when it happened.

“Time stopped. Everything stopped. I was confused as to what was going on. It’s not like we posed a threat to anybody out there walking our dog. There’s nothing harmful about that,” Jessica told WCBI.

Her husband, Franklin, a sergeant in the Army National Guard, had recently returned from a nine-month deployment in the Middle East, was also confused with the incident. He said, “It’s kind of crazy. You go over there and don’t have a gun pointed at you, and you come back home and the first thing that happens is you have a gun pointed at you. It’s kind of crazy to think about.”

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Kampgrounds of America confirmed that the woman involved has already been fired.

“Kampgrounds of America does not condone the use of a firearm in any manner on our properties or those owned and operated by our franchisees,” the representative said. “The employee involved in the incident has been relieved of her duties.”