Shooting comes just as Beale Street, downtown Memphis get ready for more visitors

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — With the Grizzlies returning to the playoffs for the first time in four years and COVID cases more manageable, there’s a buzz in downtown Memphis, but with crowds come potential safety issues. 

Shots rang out again on Beale Street early Sunday morning around midnight. Business officials and law enforcement are aware of safety concerns, and say they’re working on improvements. 

“The downtown area, which was the hardest hit area of all of Shelby County during the pandemic, has made tremendous strides since March,” said Kevin Kane with Memphis Tourism.

Over the weekend, there was another shooting on Beale Street that sent a man to the hospital in non-critical condition. Police say suspects escaped in a white convertible with a black top. 

Police and ambulance crews respond to a shooting near Beale and Wagner around midnight Sunday morning.

Recent surges in crime and violence aren’t exclusive to downtown Memphis. 

“People are coming out of the house and they’ve been cooped up for so long, so yes there has been some uptick in concerns,” said Jerred Price with the Downtown Neighborhood Association.  

But the Downtown Neighborhood Association does have optimism. They say residents and law enforcement have been working to find fixes as the city continues to reopen.

The first step will be increased patrolling, but additional steps will be announced later this week. 

 “I think a lot of Memphians have noticed the increased patrols and there’s going to be a little more added to that,” Price said. “We hope to collaborate together and find the best solution for downtown.” 

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