NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — More than a dozen shots rang out early Wednesday morning in a part of North Nashville that one neighbor called the “Music City War Zone.”
Thomas Dodson said 20 to 30 gunshots were fired around 5 a.m., adding that the crime at 1613 Buchanan Street is getting worse, not better.
“It happens frequently, a lot of shots, and it’s not just one or two, it’s multiple shots all the time,” Shelia Jones, who also lives in the area, explained.
Gunfire is an all too familiar sound for people like Jones, who has lived off Buchanan Street since 2006.
“This [has] really been going on for quite some time, and when I say time, I’m talking about years. It just seems to be worse now than ever, for whatever reason, so it is a problem,” Jones said.
Many community members pointed to a market at 1613 Buchanan Street as a gathering space where much of the local crime unfolds.
“I would say a disaster zone,” Jones described.
A request for calls of service from the Metro Nashville Police Department to the address — which houses the market, as well as a liquor store — showed more than 300 since June 1. However, authorities warned some of those could be repeat calls or calls unrelated to crime.
“It’s a lot, but it doesn’t surprise me,” Jones stated.
News 2 has covered countless shootings in the area, but the most recent incident was a fight that reportedly ended with a man being run over in the liquor store parking lot, killing him.
A spokesperson for the Davidson County District Attorney’s Office told News 2 officials have been in communication with police, as well as the Beer Board, about concerns at that address for some time. He added there are ongoing discussions about the recent problems and lack of attention to address those concerns.
Metro Councilman Brandon Taylor said he has heard the complaints and lives in the area, so he knows the issues well. He has been working with law enforcement to mitigate the activity at the address, calling his efforts an uphill battle for five years.
“There’s a lot of homeless going on up there, as well, you know, along with the activities that they are doing. That trafficking includes drugs, alcohol, soliciting, and other things of sort,” Jones explained.
Officers with MNPD’s North Precinct said they have conducted a number of additional, self-initiated patrols in the area, but neighbors want to see more done to keep the area safe, with some — including Jones — calling for the market to be shut down.
“It would make the neighborhood look much better, people would feel much safer. Me, personally, I feel safe, but there’s others that don’t feel safe, and it needs to be torn down,” Jones said.
According to Dodson, he has called on government leaders to help, but nothing is being done. This weekend, he said he plans to deploy a drone to capture any criminal activity.
An employee at the liquor store said the issues aren’t outside of their business, instead pointing to the parking lot of the market.
Adam Dread, an attorney for the property owner at 1613 Buchanan Street, told News 2 the market has private security keeping loiters off, as well as full-time video surveillance. Dread also said a vacant property across the street is an issue, adding that they have been in meetings with police and neighbors as they do what they can to ensure the safety of their customers.