Many FAMU students and alumni are eagerly anticipating the return of homecoming. However, in the aftermath of recent gun violence, students are beginning to question their safety while partying during homecoming.
Tallahassee Police responded to a shooting around 2 a.m. Sunday on Liberty Street near FAMU’s Bragg Memorial Stadium. The shooting occurred at a block party after FAMU’s home football game against South Carolina State.
One female FAMU student was taken to a hospital with what police described as non-life threatening injuries.
A witness of the shooting who chose to remain anonymous believes partying isn’t worth losing their life over. “When I was a freshman, a lot of parties would get shot up during homecoming,” they said. “Going out isn’t worth risking my life over.”
The anonymous student also reported another incident that took place immediately after the shooting. An unidentified young man was hit by a vehicle while the crowd ran away from the gunfire.
Another anonymous source says that block parties are no longer an option during homecoming.
“After attending the block party that took place on Liberty Street, it has forced me to view homecoming events differently because of the shooting,” the student said. “I am now skeptical about all block parties being I do not want to be running away from gunshots again.”
According to the Tallahassee Democrat, Tallahassee Police Department spokeswoman Heather Merritt reported three separate gunfire related incidents during a neight-hour period beginning Saturday night.
“We don’t have any sense that they are connected currently, but they are under investigation,” she told the Democrat.
One of the shootings occurred Sunday around 4:30a.m. at Cascades Park where a parking management company employee heard gunshots. Another shooting occurred Saturday at 8:30 p.m. at Griffin Heights apartments on Basin Street.
During homecoming, students, alumni and alumni gather in large crowds after events like the football game, the comedy show and concerts. Students from other universities have made posts about coming to Tallahassee to get the well-known FAMU homecoming experience.
“Imma trippin bout A&M hoco. I’m going to FAMU to really get lit with my people,” Twitter user sessykj wrote.
However, Twitter user doublej_allen says she is unsure about attending homecoming because of recent Tallahassee shootings. “Idk about famu hoco anymore, them shootings is ridiculous”
According to data.tallahassee.com, Tallahassee has had 59 shootings that resulted in 13 deaths and 38 injuries so far.
Merritt, with TPD, encourages witnesses to come forward with any information regarding the shootings. Witnesses can also report information anonymously via Crime Stoppers by calling 850-574-TIPS. People can also share information by calling TPD at 850-891-4200.