‘We’re having far too many shootings’: Tallahassee Police investigating three weekend shootings

Published: Oct. 11, 2021 at 6:31 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - The Tallahassee Police Department is investigating three separate weekend shootings, all happening within just eight hours of one another.

Five people were hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries between the three locations. No arrests have been made.

The first shooting occurred near the Griffin Heights Apartments on Basin Street around 8:30 p.m. Saturday.

Just a few hours later, another shooting took place near Pasco and Liberty Street around 2:00 a.m. Sunday.

Then, around 4:30 a.m. Sunday, a third shooting occurred near Cascades Park on Gadsden Street.

“Our homicides are down this year in the city, but our shootings are trending pretty much the same, it’s up in certain areas and down in others. The bottom line is that we’re having way too many shootings, far too many shootings,” said Deputy Chief Maurice Holmes.

Holmes says much of the gun violence taking place in Tallahassee involves young men between the ages of 15 and 21-years-old.

“If we could get control of that age group, our gun violence would drop significantly,” Holmes said.

It’s why local leaders and anti-violence advocates are stepping up efforts to curb the violence.

“To hear about such a bloody weekend was really really disheartening,” said Talethia O. Edwards.

Edwards heard gunshots from her home early Sunday morning. She’s a neighborhood leader and says she’s pushing for gun violence to be considered a public health issue, not just a public safety issue.

“We need robust, very broad investment in this issue because we understand the problems are rooted much deeper than just somebody has a gun and they shoot another person,” Edwards said. “It is economic issues, it’s mental health issues it’s social issues.”

Those issues are at the heart of how the Omega Lamplighters are stepping up its outreach.

“It’s hit home, we’ve had a youth in our program who we lost a couple of years ago to this very thing. So it’s important that we do things beyond what we had been doing to try and reach these youth and change their lives,” said Executive Director Royle King.

The non-profit recently opened a new facility to increase engagement and outreach programs, in order to reach more young men.

“With those resources from the local community we can enhance what we’re doing,” King said.

Omega Lamplighters is hosting a community-wide mentorship on the last Monday of October. It’s open to the public and will be an opportunity for young men to hear from mentors in the community.

The organization hopes to expand services to recent high school graduates, along with students still in high school.

No arrests have been made in the three weekend shootings. Police say they hope to release more information about potential suspects soon.

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