Memphis Police say Joshua Strong was sitting in his car outside an unnamed barbershop on Hillshire Drive in Northeast Memphis just before 2 a.m. Friday when he was gunned down.
The barber and several customers heard the gunshots from inside and found Strong lying in the parking lot, according to investigators. They called for help and tried CPR, but it was too late.
The business plaza — filled with mostly salons and barbershops — is just a half mile from the Appling Farms police precinct.
"We’ve never had any trouble that I know of," said Susan Roberts, who works nearby. "I work here by myself during the day and I’m free to come and go at night as I’ve done some and I’ve never even been frightened."
The driver’s side window of the car Strong was sitting in was riddled with bullet holes.
"It’s pretty creepy, but I’ve never felt threatened before," Roberts said.
One neighborhood watch leader says crews patrol the plaza every night, and people who work there describe it as safe.
"We’ve had a couple of windows broken over a 10-year period, but that’s it," one employee, who didn't want his name used, said. "I was totally shocked, I couldn’t believe it."
One salon owner tells WREG off camera that it’s not unusual for some of the shops there to stay open until the early morning hours to accommodate customers.
Police don’t have much to go on – no witnesses who actually saw the shooting and no possible suspects – but the employees nearby say they won’t let fear control their lives.
"Unfortunately, that’s just the way we live today," one man said. "It’s pitiful, but that’s the way it is."
"I’m not gonna be frightened by it," Roberts said. "You know, you can’t live in fear because there are disgruntled or unhappy or whatever people out there. It’s the world that we live in, unfortunately."
Police are hoping surveillance cameras will provide some clues.
If you can help, call Crime Stoppers at (901) 528-CASH.