Nashville/ Parks & Nature
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Published on April 23, 2024
Memphis Community Vows to Rebuild After Tragic Mass Shooting At Orange Mound ParkSource: Google Street View

Memphis is reeling after a mass shooting at Orange Mound Park left a deep scar on the community. A group reportedly consisting of "approximately 200-300 people" was targeted by gunfire during a block party on Saturday, which resulted in the tragic deaths of two individuals and left eight others wounded, as confirmed by the Memphis Police Department. In the wake of the violence, city officials are mulling over a revision to the permitting process for park space rentals, potentially attaching a fee and a more revealing application process. "An ordinance change will be considered," stated Antonio Adams, chief operating officer of the City of Memphis, after the grim event, as reported by The Commercial Appeal.

The fabric of the Orange Mound neighborhood has been shaken, but there's an undeniable resilience among activists who are adamant about taking back their streets. In response to this recent spate of violence in the park, which only days before had been revitalized by local volunteers, community members are echoing a rallying cry to reclaim their turf. "I'm hurt, sad but most of all, this is a good park everybody comes to," said Warren Banner, a Guns Down Orange Mound volunteer, signaling a collective heartache over the disintegration of their labor of love, as WREG covered.

Outrage spans beyond grief, however, with residents querying how such an unpermitted gathering was authorized. The implication is that with a permitted event, there could have been a police presence potentially deterring the tragedy. Memphis activist MaMaDee Mourning pointedly asked why the party happened without a city-issued permit. “Pulling that permit allows the police department to know what’s going on and they need to patrol," she told ABC24.

The incident has cast a pall on the efforts of many to enhance Orange Mound. Esther Cook Jones from Put The Guns Down Orange Mound expresses frustration as the community's positive strides seem to be eroded by senseless violence. Amid the investigation, the FBI has joined forces with the Memphis Police Department to help track down suspects linked to the deadly event. While Memphis Police have yet to make any arrests, the resolve among Orange Mound residents and activists remains unshaken, with promises to not let the daunting adversities triumph.