Downtown incidents a distraction, Beale merchants say - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Downtown incidents a distraction, Beale merchants say

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MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - On Beale Street early Sunday morning, hundreds of people ran away from what they thought were gunshots.

But Beale Street merchants say that wasn't the case.

A car hit the curb, Ty Agee of the Beale Street Merchants Association said.

"There was a loud pop a bunch of people ran. And it caused a lot of commotion."

But that didn't stop people from taking to Twitter -- and by Sunday morning there were dozens of tweets about an apparent shooting that never happened.

There was no shooting on Beale Street last night -- but there was one just north of Beale, just after midnight.

Police say the victim was driving out of the parking lot at Third and Gayoso when he was shot.

His car then rolled down the street and came to rest and Fourth and Gayoso.

The 31-year-old man was taken to The Med in critical condition. His passenger, a 36-year-old woman, was not injured.

Police found shell casings at the scene, but have no suspects at this time.

They say the shots came from the parking lot.

But all the commotion didn't stop tourists from hitting Beale.

Charlie Hay and his wife were on Beale Street Saturday night.

"We're staying another night, we love it down here," Hay said.

"It was very very busy, I would say it was wall-to-wall... Hard to walk around."

Others were surprised to hear what happened, and Beale Street merchants say the incidents take focus off the good that's happening here in Memphis.

"I'm really really proud of the Grizzlies -- That has brought the city together," Agee said.

"Bad things can happen everywhere. Every once and awhile something will flare up. That's why we have security and police officers."

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