NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Germantown neighbors are voicing concerns after a shooting at a local Kroger last month.
Joseph Nuzzo has lived in Germantown for three years and has written the CEO of Kroger twice after shootings at his local store, most recently on August 13.
“I really lost faith in the store,” Nuzzo said. “So I wrote another letter to the CEO who once again told me that they were going to be trying to find out; they were cooperating with police and they’re going to be making improvements to the store, but that really doesn’t do much to ensure my safety when I walk in the door.”
A records request shows police have had 500 calls for service at 800 Monroe Street so far this year. Of those calls, 43 police reports were taken. That includes 17 shots fired calls and three calls for reports of shootings.
That’s in addition to shootings next to the store in January of 2020, October of 2019, and August of 2017.
“Most recently this was, I would characterize it as an isolated incident that was a dispute between employees that involved one employee calling somebody from outside the store to come to the store,” said Freddie O’Connell District 19 Metro Councilmember.
Councilmember O’Connell said the area has seen an uptick in homelessness and aggressive loitering at and around the store, but he’s working with police to make sure shoppers feel safe.
“People who shop at that grocery store, yes they should be concerned that somebody was willing to bring a gun in to settle a dispute, but it’s also not the kind of thing where hey somebody is coming to this Kroger to cause problems,” Councilmember O’Connell said.
Kroger sent News 2 a statement, citing an armed off-duty officer at the store at all times and an enhanced surveillance device added to its parking lot in 2019.
“At Kroger, the safety of our customers and associates is our top priority. It is one of our core values. We continually evaluate our security measures. We have security cameras in all stores, including enhanced security cameras in many of our parking lots. Many of our stores have security guards, and we work closely with law enforcement to help educate our communities on important safety measures everyone should follow.”
O’Connell said he and police are also working to address underlying issues around the store.
“MNPD continues work with Kroger security; Kroger as an organization has been involved. There continues to be activity around vacant lots there and also tornado recovery that I think will mean there are fewer places for loitering to occur, and I think all of those things are positive developments,” he said.
Despite these measures, some say they still plan to stay away.
“I don’t want to take a chance of getting a stray bullet. So now I drive to McGavock Pike or I’ll drive to Bellevue to do my shopping. And it’s an inconvenience because I have a store two blocks from me that I don’t feel confident that if I walk into that store, something may or may not happen,” Nuzzo said.
On Monday, the Germantown Homeowners Association is having a meeting where they plan to talk with police about crime in the area.