Recent East Knoxville shootings raise questions about crime in the area

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- A double shooting last night in East Knoxville again raises questions about crime in the community.

Some may choose to view recent East Knoxville shootings as evidence that crime is again out of control in an area that's all too familiar with it, but most of the people we talked to don't see it that way at all.

At 2:30 a.m. Friday police respond to a call of a shooting at East Magnolia and Prosser Road. Just a week earlier, another shooting on Martin Luther King in the Walter P. Taylor Homes area. Some who live, work, and worship in East Knoxville tell us things like this seem to happen more around this time every year.

Resident Gerald Woodley says, "Seems like every summer things just change during the summer, more people out during the summertime."

Still, even with recent shootings on their minds, most here tell us crime is not as bad here as it used to be.

Resident Vincent Hodge says, "This is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Knoxville and this is a good place to live."

Some say the perception helps create the problem.

Hodge says, "I think the media builds this up to high over this way that that people come from other parts of Knoxville and come over here and do things that they think is what's going on over here and then they take off and they criticize what's happening over here."

Police say they have been doing their part, taking criminals off the street and prosecuting them in the federal system when possible to keep them in prison longer.

Knoxville Police Spokesman Darrell DeBusk says, "We want to remove these individuals from the street, but it also takes help from members of the community. Not only in East Knoxville, but in West Knoxville, North Knoxville, and South Knoxville. It takes the community getting involved and report what they have witnessed."

Still, people here know there's no magic cure.

Woodley says, "Crime has dropped some, but you ain't never gonna get rid of all of it, because you can't see everything at one time."

Both of the recent shootings remain unsolved.

If you have any information that could help police in those or any other cases, call the KPD crime hotline at (865) 215-7212.

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