MEMPHIS, Tenn.– While many are left heartbroken following the death of runner, mother and teacher Eliza Fletcher, they’re also thinking about their daily routines.

Constance Taylor, a retired teacher herself, said the case weighs on her. 

“I walk my dog every morning and yesterday when I walked my dog I was a little bit more aware of my surroundings, I didn’t go too far, I just kinda stayed close to home,” Taylor said.

Retired Sheriff’s Captain and safety expert, Bennie Cobb said he’s had more people reaching out for self-defense training since the young mother’s death. 

“My first thing I would say is enjoy your life. Go running, ride your bicycle, go shopping, go ahead and enjoy life. However, we in a different situation as far as day and time as far as violence is concerned,” Cobb said.

But he said you must also be self-aware. That’s also the advice from Memphis Police. They are encouraging people to protect themselves by doing the following:

  • Vary their running route
  • Never wear noise-canceling headphones or play music too loud
  • Run with a buddy if possible
  • Invest in self-protection like pepper spray or an alarm
  • Don’t post your route on social media
  • Run in well-lit areas if possible

Sara Hooker with KMD Self Defense and Fitness also encourages using pepper spray to protect yourself.

“A lot of women have gone to the idea of pepper spray and stun guns. The issue with stun guns is if they don’t work it can kinda be almost a liability. With pepper spray, if you find one you think is appropriate buy two and practice with one so that you’re familiar with how to deploy the pepper spray and the range of the pepper spray. It’s almost like pepper spray is your first punch, don’t count on it to end a violent altercation,” Hooker said.

But she says it can be a deterrent and useful as long as you are able to use it under stress.

MPD also encourages you to wear a GPS only a friend or loved one can track and make sure they know your whereabouts.