JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Just five days into the new year, there have already been several shootings in Jackson.

Just last night, four teens were shot at a gas station near Capitol Street and Ellis Avenue. Councilman Kenneth Stokes said although the incident wasn’t in his ward, it could have potentially been avoided.

“I say ‘I told you so.’ I have tried and tried to get security at these convenience store service stations. Because most of them are used for drug activity and illegal activity. If we get some security at these service stations, some of this crime will stop,” said Councilman Stokes.

Councilman Stokes has made several pushes for more security and cameras at local gas stations over the years, but they have all failed.

“I can’t get them to understand because they won’t come in this neighborhood. But when it hits in their neighborhood, they’ll see it… If some of these Council members come out to these neighborhoods that they’re afraid of and see how these citizens are living, then they’d understand.”

Along with the city council, Councilman Stokes also blames the business owners for not adding additional security.

“You’ve had two deaths in Jackson so far, and both of them are associated with the Indian business community… The hotel was owned by an Indian business man. The service station was owned by an Indian business man. They will not provide security and they will not make it safer for black people. Black people need to stop spending their money with them,” said Councilman Stokes.

Councilman Stokes said he stands by his statement and said he thinks putting pressure on these business owners will make the entire city safer.