Many question downtown safety after Fourth of July shooting - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Many question downtown safety after Fourth of July shooting

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Family members of Tashun Jenkins say they are stunned and found out by watching the news. Family members of Tashun Jenkins say they are stunned and found out by watching the news.

(WMC-TV) - The 13-year-old shot during a Fourth of July celebration has been released from the hospital.

The teen attended the celebration in Tom Lee Park and was shot in the leg. A family member, who prefers to remain anonymous, says the teen is going to be fine.

Although, the 18-year-old accused of firing the bullet into the crowd is a different story. Family members of Tashun Jenkins say they are stunned and found out by watching the news.

"We're pretty shocked, and you know I wouldn't expect him to do nothing like that because he's quiet," said the accused shooter's older brother, Sam Jenkins. "I really think he didn't do it. I really want to find out what happened. If I do find out he'll probably tell me, seeing as I'm his big brother."

According to police, Tashun Jenkins fled from the park. Witnesses described Jenkins to police who caught up with him less than 30 minutes after the shooting.

Sam Jenkins says he was also at the park, but his brother was with other friends.

"We was right at the river watching fireworks. We heard the shooting. We just didn't expect it was no one in our area or my little brother," said Sam Jenkins.

There are reports there was a big brawl before shots rang out.

The shooting sparked outrage in the community and raised questions about whether there was enough of a police presence downtown. Many also questioned if it is safe to attend any public event in downtown Memphis.

Despite reassurance from Memphis Police Lieutenant Colonel Gloria Bullock, Tom Lee Park was not safe enough when shots were fired into the crowd on the Fourth of July.

"Unfortunately, we had some juveniles that took it upon themselves to misbehave," said Bullock.

Action News Five viewers who were there described those teens as a dangerous mob. Witness said the teens gathered near a Beale Street Landing building moments before a 13-year-old was shot in the leg.

"Could have been a lot worse, but our officers are very professional and very experienced in crowd control," said Bullock.

Bullock says the event was well-manned with at least 200 officers.

"And any time we saw a large gathering of juveniles or what appeared to be a disturbance we acted on it immediately," she said.

Witnesses say that the gathering relocated in the park moments before the shooting.

"As far as our officers, they did an outstanding job of following up on the investigation and making that arrest within minutes," said Bullock.

Action News 5 Facebook fans are crying out for crime prevention, and some are vowing to never return to Tom Lee Park. Others accuse the city of skimping on security because of budget cuts.

"We had quite a few officers down there. Could we have used more officers, of course," said Bullock.

Bullock says in the next few days police will execute an after action plan. It is basically a review of how the event was handled.

It is too soon to say if the shooting will warrant major changes in the future when crowds gather downtown.

Meanwhile, Jenkins has been charged with aggravated assault. His bond recommendation was $25,000, but by morning it had been raised to $150,000. Jenkins is due in court Monday morning.

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