January was a deadly month for gun violence in Tallahassee

Gun violence affects everyone. Photo courtesy: education.uscb.edu

In the past few years, Tallahassee has seen a noticeable increase in gun violence. And this year is following suit. But It’s not something that goes unnoticed by the Tallahassee Police Department.

In January 2021, Tallahassee experienced 23 shooting incidents with zero homicides. But in January 2022, there have been 26 shooting incidents and five homicides, according to the Tallahassee Police Department database.

“The numbers are certainly concerning,” TPD spokeswoman Alicia Turner said. “We want our citizens, students and families to feel safe.”

Turner said that gun violence in the city affects the entire community. What seems to be happening is a ripple effect that comes with gun violence, she added.

And with this constant pattern, it becomes not only just an issue of crime but also an issue of socio-economic status, education, certain resources, and accesses to those resources, according to Turner.

Tallahassee nightclub GVO employee Jasmine Williams worked at the venue the night there was a fatal shooting in the parking lot last month.

While working at the door collecting money, Williams said there was an incident where two men got into a serious argument that eventually led to a shootout outside the nightclub. She said she was traumatized by the incident.

“In all honesty, I feel as if gun violence is completely unnecessary,” Williams said. “If everyone were to stay to themselves, and not try to be tough all the time, then I think it would help deescalate situations like this from even occurring.”

Turner said the police department agrees.

“We know that the results of our shootings stem from either arguments that escalated between two people and people having possession of stolen or illegally possessed firearms,” Turner said.

Law enforcement administrators and city leaders have said they would like to bring everybody to the table and help them understand the impact of gun violence. They need to know the importance of having the ability to resolve conflict without resorting to violence with a firearm.

Elijah Guerrier, a fourth-year biochemistry major at Florida A&M University, said the gun violence recently close to home.

“In light of the recent tragic loss of a fellow Rattler, someone I knew personally, it’s just a terrible feeling knowing this type of violence is reaching so close to home,” Guerrier said.

There seems to be no end to this type of violence, Guerrier added.

Turner, with TPD, said that there isn’t one root issue that results in gun violence, but multiple. Based on how a child was raised, music, social media and other factors all play a role.

The Tallahassee Police Department offers different programs that help keep the community safe. Some of these programs focus on resistance skills, mental health and self-defense.  The programs are also educational based, and some are focused on creating a positive impact on the community.

For inquiries about these programs, contact TPD’s Public Information Office at (850) 891-4085.