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Navy Base Uses Shipping Containers to Ward Off Gunfire

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A Mississippi military base put up a temporary wall of shipping containers to ward off stray bullets after a nearby gunfight blasted into homes at the outpost.

More than 20 shipping containers lined the perimeter after an October gunfight erupted in an apartment complex across the street from the Gulfport Navy base — with bullets flying into five houses there, NBC News reported. No one was hurt.

“We took prudent measures, including a barrier between the fence line and base housing, to ensure the safest and most secure environment possible for our personnel and residents,” Seabee Captain Jeff Powell told WLOX in a statement. “The force protection of our base, personnel and families are our highest priority.”

But shootings have continued to plague the beach town of about 72,000 on Mississippi’s Gulf Coast, reported — including a June 15 incident in which two people were wounded at a birthday party near the military base; a third person was later found fatally shot, a local news outlet reported. Two other shootings nearby erupted the same day.

Martha Lockhart-Mais, a retired schoolteacher who lives near the military base, told NBC News one of her former students was shot and killed last year.

“I feel that people should be able to live and work together without having a barrier,” she said.

John Whitfield, a local pastor and CEO of Climb CDC, a workforce development nonprofit, told NBC News he thinks the optics of the military’s barrier are “very bad” but conceded the “practicality of it.”

Becky Shaw, a spokesperson for the base, told NBC News the Navy is considering a concrete wall across the street from the apartment complex.

“The force protection of our base, personnel, and families is our highest priority,” she said.

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