NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A homeless man found shot to death on a park bench has raised new concerns about crimes against the homeless and the overall safety of downtown Nashville.
Police found 46-year-old Edward Matthews shot to death at 5th Avenue North and Church Street early Tuesday morning.
The public is now more aware of some of the dangers the homeless population faces.
Police said they have already been aware of it and say they constantly do welfare checks and try to protect the homeless population from some of the dangers.
Metro Police Lt. Melvin Brown told News 2 police are especially careful to do welfare checks in the colder months but not everyone accepts assistance.
"It's extremely high percentage, probably over 90%, the high 90s percent that refuse, usually politely refuse," Brown said. "They're not yelling, ‘get away from me' gut they just say, ‘no, I'm okay."
Brown could not speak on Tuesday's deadly shooting since it is an open investigation, but he told News 2 once someone refuses assistance, they open themselves up to becoming a victim of crime.