MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WREG)– Two senseless tragedies have put Memphis at the top of nearly every newscast in the nation with the kind of primetime coverage most would agree the city could do without.
Sirens are screaming, police cars are flying, and emotions are running high in a city where the death of Eliza Fletcher and Wednesday’s shooting rampage within six days have left their mark and focused the national news spotlight on Memphis.
“It’s been a disaster for the families involved and it’s been a disaster for our image,” said Dr. John Gnuschke, Director of Sparks Bureau of Business.
Dr. John Gnuschke said increased violent crime in Memphis not only threatens lives but makes it harder to attract the kind of businesses Memphis needs to grow and prosper.
“We’re desperate for economic development opportunities. We have to fight for any opportunities that come along and this does not help,” Gnuschke said.
He hopes city and county leaders will make more substantive changes to fighting crime and investment whatever amount of money it takes to do that.
“It will continue to make national news until we reach some solution to it,” Gnuschke said.
Many Memphians are feeling emotionally drained by what’s happened over the last several days and looking for a way to share their concerns by visiting the Choose901 website.
“Choose901 is a campaign where we promote Memphis as the premiere city in the country to invest and enjoy your life,” said John Carroll, Founder of Choose901.
Carroll, who is also Executive Director of City Leadership, said there has been an uptick in site visitors.
“Obviously, this past week has been devastating, scary, traumatizing,” he said.
He admits bad news travels fast but hopes Memphis and its crime victims will not give up.
“Every major city in our country has had major tragedies happen in it and they’ve moved forward, good or bad. Our city gets the choice of moving forward, good or bad,” Carroll said.