MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Some residents at the Gather on Southern apartment complex across the street from the University of Memphis are worried about their safety after several gun crimes were reported in a matter of days.
The new, under-construction parking garage and pedestrian bridge nearby makes the area around the complex a heavy foot traffic area. But in the last week and a half, there were three reported gun crimes only five days apart.
“I thought this was a pretty safe place, but now sometimes I don’t feel that,” resident Jan Pallaies said.
In the first incident on Jan. 13, an argument among roommates about laundry resulted in a woman’s boyfriend pulling a gun on her roommate, saying “Do you want some of this?” No shots were fired.
A day later, Memphis police charged Royal Parson with reckless endangerment after he was firing off rounds from an AR-15 in the middle of the complex’s courtyard. One of those bullets penetrated a bedroom wall, putting three people in danger. No one was injured.
Then on Jan. 18, police charged Tyler Davis with reckless endangerment and unlawful possession of a weapon at the complex. On surveillance footage, Davis was seen firing off a shot from a handgun while rolling in an office chair down the breezeway of the complex. The shot grazed a window frame of a nearby apartment, home to a UofM basketball player, who was asleep and unharmed.
None of the three people in possession of a gun were either residents or students.
Apartment management would not comment to WREG about resident safety concerns. They pointed us to their security company, Cardinal Group Management, who provided the statement below about the two incidents where weapons were discharged.
“Cardinal Group Management and the team at Gather Southern take the safety of our residents very seriously. We are cooperating with the police on their investigations into the two incidents that occurred on the property, both of which stemmed from the actions and behaviors of non-residents. While investigations are ongoing, we share with our residents what limited information we may have. Since these events occurred, we have increased the security presence and extended-hour coverage at both of our buildings.”
Residents we spoke with, however, did not feel their safety was a top priority, and seeing a security guard does not happen often.
“I don’t see them very much,” Pallaies said, looking around for a guard. “Just on Saturday nights, but it’s only one guy walking around. I feel that more people should be here making sure everything is okay.”
Looking at a nearby gate that was left open, Pallaies said anyone can come in because the gates are often open through the day, or residents will let strangers inside the complex. He did say, other than these recent incidents, his time there has made him feel safe.
Most residents we spoke with did not know about any of the three incidents, and some only knew of one.
“You’ve got to be aware of your surroundings,” said another resident, Seth Enzor.
Enzor also said the parking gates were left open “pretty regularly.”
Residents said management did not tell them what happened, so they had to find out from friends or media outlets.
“Of the incidents that have just recently happened, they haven’t notified us about anything that has happened,” resident Cassidy Rouse said. “To let us know that they know and to let us know that we still should feel safe in that environment that we are around.”
Rouse said a security guard may help alleviate concerns, but she does not know when they are at the complex.
“I have never seen a security guard, so I don’t know,” Rouse said. “Most security guards don’t take their jobs seriously anyways.”
This makes her now feel that she has to look out for her own safety, and she said at night, she and her friends will walk together when they are going home.