Community Discusses Gun Violence Concerns

Kentucky

HOPKINS CO, Ky. (WEHT)— Madisonville community members are speaking out about violence after a block party Sunday, August 30, ended in gunfire.The shooting on Elm Street in Madisonville which left five people wounded was one of the topics discussed at a community conversation hosted by the African American Coalition of Hopkins County.

“She was shot in the back and it came out her arm. That was pretty scary for me,” said one of the witnesses. “I just wish there would have been more people there to help that night.”

Several Hopkins County residents chimed in asking for police officers to be more visible and active in the community daily.

“They [police officers] used to ride bicycles through the neighborhood and they would stop and talk but they don’t do that anymore,” said Theresa Palmer.

Madisonville Police Chief Steve Bryan explained patrolling on foot like this is tough since the pandemic is making it difficult to hire on and train new officers.

“We do have people who do foot patrols from time to time, but it’s kind of hard to do when you’re short handed because an officer gets far from his vehicle, he’s got to get back to it to answer a call he may have to drive to,” said Chief Bryan.

Theresa Palmer, Madisonville grandmother, said she hopes officers can be more active soon.

“I just think they need to get a grip on what’s going on,” said Palmer. She said she is tired of gun violence. “Anytime you’re afraid to sleep in your own house at night, and like I said; I have a grand-daughter and a daughter. We haven’t been staying there because we don’t know what they’re doing or if they’ll do anything else. “

Palmer and her family are on edge as Madisonville detectives try to figure out who sprayed her home on East Noel Avenue with bullets on Friday, August 14.

“My daughter said whoever it was didn’t know what they were shooting because they didn’t break no glass or anything like that. They just shot through my house and through my walls and things.”

No one in Palmer’s family was hurt. She said Tuesday night’s conversation was a beneficial starting point to hopefully put an end to gun violence in Hopkins county.

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(This story was originally published on September 8, 2020) 

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