Gun violence continues to plague Tallahassee

The West Orange Avenue gas station where a fatal shooting took place last Saturday. Photo courtesy All New Rattler Gas on Facebook

July has been a decidedly violent month for the Tallahassee community. According to data maintained by the Tallahassee Democrat, there have been seven reported shootings in July, and three of the shootings happened within the span of only four days. These recent events have prompted the Tallahassee Police Department to ask for community help. Meanwhile, some residents are scared for themselves and their loved ones.

According to a press release that TPD issued on Saturday, July 25, there has been an increase in crowds gathering in parking lots of open and closed businesses, and this is when many of the shootings take place. Due to legal reasons, such as businesses that don’t wish to give law enforcement the authority to clear their private parking lots, the police have limits to what they can do on private business’ property.

Due to those difficulties, TPD has called for the community to help with deceasing crowds. “It is vital for community safety and community health that businesses work with TPD to disperse these crowds prior to a tragic event, as was seen last night, occurring. It is also imperative that residents take a stand against violence and share information that can help bring closure to these cases for the grieving families,” TPD said in a release.

Of the seven shootings this month, four took place on the city’s south side, which is where Florida A&M is located. Some residents of Tallahassee’s south side have said they are afraid living in the area. Kristina Julien is a resident of the south side and she expressed some fear, but acknowledged that such tragedies could happen anywhere.

“It (the shootings) does make me a little scared, but not too much because these things happen everywhere in the world,” Julien said.

There are some Tallahassee residents who don’t fear for themselves, but for some of their friends that like to go out. Shaylyn Pearson said that she is fearful for her friends who go out on the south side because of how unpredictable things can be.

“I am worried about my friends that go out to socials on the south side because you just never know what can happen,” Pearson said.

There have been some arrests made in some of the recent homicides. There are still some ongoing investigations. Anyone with information about a shooting or other crimes can call 850-891-4200.  You may also remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 850-574-TIPS.