“You never know when someone will pull a gun out” neighbor says of 20th Knoxville homicide

Compared to this time last year, there were 13 homicides by May 21, 2020
Updated: May. 21, 2021 at 6:38 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - A Knoxville Police Department report obtained by WVLT News revealed there have been 20 homicides this year so far. All of the killings have been the result of gun violence.

Compared to this time last year, there were 13 homicides by May 21, 2020. Knoxville has already passed that number with seven more fatal shootings totaling 20 homicides including the officer-involved shooting resulting in the death of Austin-East Magnet High School student Anthony Thompson Jr.

The 20th fatal shooting happened Thursday night in East Knoxville, according to a KPD spokesperson. Vincent James, 28 was identified as the victim in Thursday’s shooting. He was shot in the Five Points neighborhood where one neighbor told WVLT she no longer feels safe living.

“I came here to live, I didn’t come here to die,” neighbor, Kenyetta Lester said. Lester said her family came too close for comfort to the deadly shootings, with several bullets even striking her home with children inside.

“Five kids and a granddaughter and even she was out here and they can’t even play outside because you never know when someone will pull a gun out,” said Lester.

Lester and other neighbors are looking to move.

A KPD community crime map shows crime statistic information based on the area in Knoxville. You can click here to see the crime stats in your community.

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