The increase in police and ambulance sirens on Tallahassee’s streets have not gone unnoticed by the students who attend Florida A&M and other Tallahassee residents. The amount of gun-violence in the state’s capital has increased during recent years as Tallahassee’s communities continue to change.
To date, there have been 51 recorded shootings in Tallahassee in 2020, with 45 injured and 17 dead. Many of these shootings were located in places primarily occupied by university students and near heavily traveled streets.
Old Bainbridge Road, a heavily traveled street, is well-known to FAMU students. It was the site of a recent shooting. According to the Tallahassee Democrat, four people were shot on Aug. 31 at an Old Bainbridge Road apartment complex.
“The incident was the latest in a rash of shootings and killings in Tallahassee, some of it gang-related. Since Aug. 21, a dozen people have been shot, including two who died,” report the Democrat’s Jeff Burlew and Karl Etters.
Similarly, on Sunday morning, a FAMUINFO email was sent to students describing a shooting that took place near the school’s Bragg Stadium.
The email included the message sent from the Tallahassee Police Department stating, “TPD received additional information on two possible victims who were taken to Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare. TPD made contact with the victims and the matter is under investigation. At this time, it appears there are no FAMU students were involved. If you have any information about this incident, please contact TPD.”
Not only has the increase in gun violence affected the Tallahassee community, but it’s caused worry among students regarding their safety on and off campus.
Victoria Alaka, 22, a FAMU student and Tallahassee native, said, “There is no reason why I should feel uncomfortable where I live or where I go to school. Expecting some violence during homecoming is one thing, but experiencing it day-to-day in my own backyard is another.”
Data.tallahassee.com provides all recorded shootings throughout the year and has data from 2018, including date, fatal/non-fatal, vicinity, and description of the incident.
According to data.tallahassee.com, in 2018, Tallahassee recorded 50 shootings resulting in 38 injuries and 11 deaths, one less shooting throughout the entire year than those to date in 2020. In 2019, Tallahassee recorded 73 shootings, resulting in 54 injuries and 19 deaths. Fifty of those happened before Sept. 8, 2019.
“The increase of gun violence in Tallahassee affects me because I see how it is taking a toll in our community. Not only from police brutality and their use of guns on Black people, but also how Black individuals use it on their own kind,” said Maya Williams, a 21-year-old senior psychology major.