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Police searching for suspects after two deadly shootings in Whitehaven

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Two men are dead after separate shootings in Whitehaven on Saturday morning, just a couple of miles apart.

Investigators don’t believe they’re connected, but haven’t arrested anyone in either case.

One shooting happened yards away from children playing in a peewee football game.

“I mean really, it’s just sad. I feel like we just gotta do better," said Peter Hawkins, who up until last year, lived in the neighborhood. “It wasn’t like this too bad back then, but now it’s just getting out of control.”

Police say one man was shot and killed around 2:30 a.m. outside Ralph’s Bar and Grill on Millbranch Road as he tried to drive away after getting into an argument with someone inside.

He crashed his car into a power pole nearby, family told WREG.

“They didn’t have to kill him. They just should have left him alone," the victim's grandmother, Maxine Odom, said. "They didn’t have to kill him. They didn’t have to kill him. He tried to get away.”

Family says that victim's name was Lacey Odom, and that he had several young children.

They tell WREG Odom was gunned down over a long-standing grudge.

“We know who they are and I hope they burn in hell, every one that shot him," Maxine Odom said.

Hawkins says he hears about similar cases of people being senselessly gunned down over petty arguments all too often in this city.

“Most of it over something small, something simple they’ll be beefin’ about," he said. "And there you go, boom, a life gone.”

Just before 9 a.m., less than three miles away, another man was found shot to death in a car near the entrance of Sterling Townhomes off East Raines, across the street from Walker Middle School as hundreds of children played in a peewee football jamboree.

“We get up and want to go watch football and have to run into something like this," father Jeremy Lichols said. "No, it’s not a good look.”

He and his 7-year-old son, Kaion, who was getting ready to play, showed up around 10 a.m. to find the massive crime scene.

“It really is a sad time," Lichols said. "We’ve got kids that we want to see grow up. Still, I wanna see my son grow up. It’s sad out here.”

A source tells WREG that shooting was a drug deal gone wrong.

Community activist Frank Gotti showed up to the scene, as he often does when someone is found murdered, to talk to people in the neighborhood and talk about the killings on a Facebook Live stream.

“It’s hard to see families hurting because of somebody else’s stupidity. It’s not acceptable. It don’t make our city look good at all," he said. “It’s gonna take everybody in the city to stand up together against these killings, because what people gotta know is that it can end up at your front door at any second, any minute.”

WREG watched as police had the car towed away with the body still slumped over in the driver’s seat.

Once investigators realized onlookers could see the body, they briefly stopped the truck and called on officers to escort it away.

We asked Memphis police if it was common practice to not remove a body from a car before towing it from a crime scene, and where the car was being taken.

Louis Brownlee, the department's public information officer, responded by saying only, "That 'scene' was processed at the crime scene facility."

WREG then asked if that was different from how other similar scenes are processed, and if not, why was this homicide was treated differently.

Brownlee hasn't responded to those questions.

The second victim’s name hasn't been released.

Police are asking for tips to solve both Saturday morning homicides.

If you know anything that could help, call Crime Stoppers at 528-CASH.

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