Weekend downtown shooting leaves man in critical condition despite extra police presence

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — It was a violent and deadly weekend across Memphis.

Three teenagers were shot. We’re told a woman was killed while holding a baby and another person was shot in the heart of downtown despite the increased police presence and security.

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“I’m an artist, so I loved the whole ambiance,” said Douglas Washington, tourist.

This Memorial Day weekend thousands of people gathered downtown to celebrate the holiday and cheer on the beloved Memphis Grizzlies in the playoffs.

“We’ve been here a bunch of times. We like it and everything is opening back up,” said Jerry Lenfand, tourist.

To keep people safe and deter overwhelmingly large crowds, the Downtown Memphis Commission enforced a $5 security fee after 10 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Memphis police increased their presence downtown.

“There was a heavy police presence. Especially after the game, it was very heavy on every corner,” said Washington.

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While many felt safe downtown, extra security on Beale Street and more police downtown were not enough. One man was found shot at Peabody and B.B. King. The victim was rushed to the hospital in critical condition.

“We’re starting to see a lot of negative activity that was taking place during the pandemic and now it’s taking a while for some of the negative activity to subside,” said Paul Young, Downtown Memphis Commission.

Memphis police said they’re unsure if officers were in the area when the crime happened.

The shooting remains under investigation so it’s unknown if the victim and shooter knew one another.

“We felt very safe everywhere. From the hotel, to here, to downtown,” said Douglas.

Memphis police said they plan on having more officers downtown Monday night for the Grizzlies game. They also may scale up or back depending on the crowd size.