MEMPHIS, Tenn. — City leaders say they are looking for solutions to curb violence after a mass shooting in downtown Memphis left eight people injured, and three men were spotted with guns in the entertainment district over the weekend.
Mixed in with the bright lights of downtown were police lights following several incidents. In one case, eight people were shot along BB King at Peabody Place.
There was also an incident in which security officers flagged down MPD after spotting three men with guns in Handy Park, part of the Beale Street Entertainment District. One of the men, 27-year-old Chondrec Roberts, was arrested and charged with felon weapons offense and three misdemeanors.
Roberts went before a judge Monday. He was appointed a public defender and ordered back to court Tuesday.
We caught up with Paul Young, who is running for mayor and currently President and CEO of the Downtown Memphis Commission, said putting into play systems and strategies is top priority.
“Unfortunately, we have some select people that just won’t follow the rules, so we are not going to stand for it. We are going to make sure our downtown is strong, and everyone can come down to have a safe time in downtown Memphis, and we are going to work with our partners to ensure that becomes a reality,” Young said.
Police have already responded to 67 weapons violations within a one mile radius of Beale Street this year.
Numbers like this are why Tamika Heard said she stays on high alert. Heard is the manger of family-owned Makeda’s Cookies, which has been part of the Memphis community for many years. She has seen and heard a lot.
“I saw that on the news, and I was like, ‘oh no,’ that’s more people that will want to stay at home and not come downtown,” she said. “I live downtown and I have a business downtown, so that’s a negative with all the crime.
But city leaders said what happened near Beale Street is problematic, which is why they are seeking solutions.
“This is not indicative of who we are as a city. Memphis is a great, amazing city,” Young said.
Heard said as she continues churning out butter cookies made up of her family’s secret recipe, she’s hopeful everyone with a seat at the city-table will find the right recipe on how to combat crime.
“We love Memphis. We just need Memphis to love us back,” she said.