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“We’ve got a problem on our hands”: GPD and 8th Avenue residents speak on recent drive-by shooting death

Published: Jul. 19, 2021 at 7:10 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -Another black man has been shot and killed on the east side of the city of Gainesville and police are finally acknowledging the problem.

The drive-by shooting occurred outside of the Eight Avenue Food Store located at 1634 NE 8th Ave. in Gainesville. Five adults were shot outside of the convenience store by someone shooting from a vehicle that drove up on NE 17th Street, then opened fire, turned left on NE 8th Avenue traveling eastbound to flee the scene.

One person has been pronounced dead and the other four have sustained non-life-threatening injuries.

Graham Glover, Public Information Officer for GPD says that the department does have a gun violence problem that they need to address.

“What happens moving forward, if there is changes into how GPD goes about policing these areas, more to follow on that, but we’ve got a problem on our hands, these shootings are not normal, and a drive-by shooting in the city of Gainesville is something that I’ve never experienced or been apart having lived here since I was four years old,” said Glover.

At the scene of the shooting on Monday, several neighbors showed up to try and shop at the store, but it will be closed for a few days due to the owners cleaning up after one of the victims actually went into the store after being shot.

Terri Foreman, a resident who lives on 8th Avenue that has been placing memorials of balloons and flowers at the scene of the shootings. She was upset that this was the sixth location in the last year that she has placed in and around Gainesville.

Foreman said, “We just buried Chris Scott Saturday and here we is, a mother has to bury another child, my god when are, when are things going to get better!”

Another woman who frequents the store, Angela DeSue says she is tired of seeing young black men in her neighborhood gunned down.

“It has to be a point where we as colored folks have got to get together and if we see our kids hanging out on the corner, we got to go and tell them that, ‘baby this is not the right thing to do.’ You have the murders on the slabs, you have the murders up here you have the murders at the car wash. I mean come on...” said DeSue.

On Monday, GPD recovered a stolen vehicle that was abandoned near the scene of the crime, but they are waiting on investigators to confirm that is was used in the crime and they still do not have the identification of the suspect who shot these five people.

Gainesville Police are asking for anyone with information to contact Detective DeCastro at (352) 393 7656 or call in anonymously to Alachua Crime Stoppers at (352) 372 7867

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