One Dead, One Recovering From Gas Station Shooting
(Memphis) One man is dead and another is recovering from a shooting in Whitehaven Wednesday afternoon.
At around 1:30p.m., police were called to the BP gas station at the corner of Millbranch and Winchester, where they said a man had shot two other men.
“The suspect attempted to leave the scene, but officers were able to catch him,” said Alyssa Macon-Moore, a spokesperson for the Memphis Police Department.
As of 10p.m. Wednesday night, the suspect is in custody but has not been charged.
The two victims were taken to The MED. A 27-year-old man died upon arriving there, and a 29-year-old man is still recovering from critical injuries.
One man who knows those involved told News Channel 3 the argument was over $100 dispute in a drug deal.
Unfortunately, bystanders and members of the community said they were not shocked at this shooting, even one that happened during the middle of the day at a busy intersection.
“It’s every day over here. In Whitehaven. Here at Millbranch and Winchester, it’s every day,” said Demario Lofties.
Lofties and his friend use their home video camera to record different incidents around Memphis to bring light to the problem of violence.
In the last 30 days, police records show that within a half-mile radius of the shooting, there were nine thefts, seven burglaries, two robberies, one arson and one aggravated assault.
On Wednesday, they were among the many who came to watch out of curiosity, seeing blood on the ground by the victims’ white Mustang, and bullet holes near the roof. On the ground not too far away, the suspect’s gun and other clothing items were left behind.
Andre Clay is the pastor of Eternal Life Church, right next to the gas station.
Clay was on his way to the church to pray, when he saw the roadblock.
“Who’s gotten shot over here now? Because there’s always someone getting killed over here,” Clay said.
Lofties said recently he’s seen a lot more police presence in the area.
“Police have been out here every day, harassing everybody. Pulling everybody over. Can’t drive down Millbranch without getting pulled over,” he said.
But he admits this may not have the immediate effect of a safer community.
Both Clay and Lofties agree the solution to the never-ending violence has to be more job opportunities and training.
“We need more jobs in this area. We need more community outreach,” Clay said.
He appreciates the one-day charity efforts one often hears about, where a group donates a bunch of backpacks to the kids of the neighborhood, but that doesn’t solve long-term problems.
He said his church had to close its day care, because people had lost their jobs and stopped sending children to their center.
Clay said someone recently broke into the church, stealing nothing but a radio.
“So they’re trying to find ways to make money, and just to hear this, a senseless killing over small money,” he said.
Clay said he wishes the city and community organizations could band together to fight poverty and lack of education. It’s a tough struggle for one small church congregation to tackle the problem alone.
Instead of looking at this incident as just another unfortunate shooting, Clay said we should all think, “What can I do to change it? What can I do?”