MADISON, Tenn. (WKRN) — The Metro Nashville Police Department is investigating three violent — and possibly connected — crimes in Madison, which were committed within a few blocks of one another in a 25-minute period.

The first incident happened around 10:15 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 7 along Gibson Drive. Metro Police said a woman tried to drive away from a gunman who approached her outside of her home, but she was shot and left critically injured.

About 15 minutes later, another victim was reportedly approached by a gunman and robbed after parking his car on E. Palestine Avenue.

The third robbery was reported down the street at approximately 10:40 p.m. According to police, two friends were in the parking lot at Falcon View Apartments when two gunmen approached them. One of the suspects used his gun to hit one of the victims in the head when he refused to comply, knocking out some teeth, and then the gunmen took the other victim’s cellphone and ran off.

News 2 spoke with some neighbors in the area who were too concerned for their safety to go on camera. Meanwhile, other community members asked for more of a police presence. 

“This little area has become extremely violent,” said Pastor Harry Flemmings. “It is sad, but that’s a sign of the times that we live in, is that people are doing violent crimes because people no longer suppress those urges. They’re willing to go out and do whatever they can do for whatever reason.”

Flemmings is a former police officer and the pastor of New Jerusalem Baptist Church in Madison. He said the church has also been the target of crime. 

“I’ve seen it. I’ve been around long enough,” he said. “I’ve lived in Madison for 20 years, so I understand the concept of how it has evolved, especially in this area.”

The issue often works its way into Flemmings’ Sunday sermons.

“I advise my members, who some of live in this area, to be cautious, to be careful, and to make sure that if they’re out at night they’re not alone, because people are just, for no reason, it seems like senseless crimes going on around here,” he explained. “We are people of faith, so we trust God, that he protects us, and that he cares for us, but at the same time, don’t be senseless. Be cautious in everything you do and where you go.”

Flemmings also encouraged people to pray, which he is doing not only for the victims in these cases, but also the suspects.

“We’re praying for them all, and we even pray for those that are committing them because they have a soul, and we pray for their soul as well,” the pastor said.

News 2 reached out to District 7 Metro Council Member Emily Benedict about the concerns from neighbors, but we have yet to hear back.

However, District 8 Council Member Nancy VanReece sent the following statement to News 2 regarding the shooting that happened in her area:

“I have reached out to Madison Precinct liaison Sgt. Lopez and the South Madison Neighborhood Association to know of any resources we may give to be helpful. We want to be sure that our neighbor knows that she has the prayers and support of her community, and we will work to ensure she feels safe when she comes home to Gibson Drive.”

Meanwhile, Metro police released surveillance footage on Wednesday, Jan. 11 of two suspects in the Gibson Drive incident, even though it was recorded prior to the shooting. According to officials, the suspects in the video — dressed in all black — cross E. Palestine Avenue and then reenter the video as they walk down E. Palestine toward Gibson Drive.

Anyone with information about Saturday’s shooting and/or robberies is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 615-742-7463. You can remain anonymous and may qualify for a cash reward.

The latest string of crimes comes off of a violent year for the Madison police precinct in an area that covers 69 square miles of land. Their data shows 18 homicides in 2022, which is triple the amount of the previous year.

In addition, even though we’re less than two weeks into 2023, there has already been one homicide in each of the city’s eight Metro Police precincts.