A viral video posted to Facebook shows a gun-toting Kampgrouds of America, Inc worker threatening the couple and demanding they leave the Oktibbeha County Lake in Starkville.
“This lady Lulu just pulled a gun because we out here and don’t have reservations,” a woman named Jessica Richardson says in the clip. “We didn’t even know we had to have reservations for it.”
The gray-haired woman slowly approaches the couple with her pistol in tow, and informs them they’re on private property and “can’t be out here.”
“We didn’t know,” Richardson responds. “All you had to do is tell us to leave, and we would’ve left. You didn’t have to pull a gun. That’s all you had to say.”
The woman eventually slides the weapon into her front pants pocket as the couple walks off. It’s unclear what, if anything, transpired between the two parties before the camera started rolling.
On Facebook, Richardson explained that she and her husband, a military vet, had found a lake on Google Maps and decided to take their 2-year-old pup on a picknicking trip to the park.
“Not five mins later, a truck pulls up and a white lady screams at us,” she wrote in a post captioned “RACISM IS ALIVE AND WELL!” “She then jumps out of her truck with a gun and proceeds to point it at the 3 of us, simply because we didn’t make reservations.”
Before leaving, Richardson said her husband stopped the camp’s front office and spoke with the property manager, who turned out to be the woman’s husband and who informed them that no reservations were needed to visit the lake.
Kampgrounds of America, Inc., which manages over 500 private campsites across North America, issued a statement Monday saying it was aware of the incident.
“KOA is currently looking into the matter and reaching out to all of the parties involved,” the organization said, according to local station WCBI. “Kampgrounds of America prides itself on providing a welcoming, safe environment for everyone to enjoy the outdoors.”
The company stated that it doesn’t condone the use of firearms on any of its properties and confirmed that the employee in question has been “relieved of her duties.”
The Richardsons said they’re still reeling from the harrowing encounter. Jessica recalled seeing the woman with “one finger on the trigger.”
“Time stopped. Everything stopped,” she told the station. “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.”
“She was just like, ‘get, get, you don’t belong here,” Richardson continued. “The fact that she used ‘get, get’ like we were a dog — You say get, get to a stray dog that’s on your porch. “That ‘get, get’ got to me more than ‘you don’t belong here.’ ”
No one was injured in the incident.