North Memphis family dodges bullet in home, but worries about the next one


MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A North Memphis family narrowly dodged a bullet as it came within inches while they were watching TV, and they say they have a dresser to thank for their lives.

Saturday night, Joe Elliott was relaxing in bed at his home off Springdale, watching TV with his wife Yolanda and 11-year-old daughter. Suddenly, they heard gunfire.

A bullet flew into the room, ricocheting off several pieces of furniture and leaving a path of destruction in his bedroom as it went through the wall and left part of a mirror shattered.

“That dresser, had it not been for that, it would’ve hit either me or my daughter in the face or in the chest. Because we both were sitting up right there. So that bullet was coming straight to us,” he said.

The bullet even went through his daughter’s coat. Police who showed up discovered the bullet landed in Yolanda’s purse. 

The family is thankful they weren’t physically wasn’t hurt. But the close call gives them pause. 

It’s unclear where the shots came from. A WREG reporter tracked the bullet from where it went through a fence in the backyard.

The family lives just a block from a busy store and a few blocks from where a 10-year-old boy died from gunfire last week

Elliott said after living in his home for two years, the gunfire recently has gotten worse. He said he also had to call police about random gunfire Sunday night.

“We don’t know if we can go to sleep and we don’t know if we’re going to wake up in the morning,” he said.

While he can’t point to exactly what’s causing the uptick, he blames people being reckless. It’s behavior that’s causing his family to consider moving. 

“We can’t be safe in our own home because we don’t know what’s coming through the walls,” he said.

Officers said they planned to step up patrols. 

Anti-violence rally

Elliott is now working to organize an anti-violence and music rally in the spring. If you would like to help out and work with him, contact JT Elliott Family Music Group at 662-613-1766 or

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