Safety concerns arise as police investigate deadly downtown carjacking

Updated: Apr. 19, 2021 at 10:29 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Memphis police are investigating a deadly shooting downtown that claimed the life of a young man who was simply stopped in traffic.

It happened in the heart of Downtown Memphis Saturday around 10:30 p.m. when Beale Street had plenty of visitors. A passenger in a car waiting in traffic was shot and killed. Recent violent crimes downtown have some residents concerned.

“I think something needs to be done. I don’t know the answer,” said downtown resident Emily Ellsworth.

But Ellsworth says she isn’t afraid to walk her dog Ruby downtown. She says she tries not to think about crime.

“I don’t want to be scared in the neighborhood,” she said.

Ellsworth didn’t know about the shooting Saturday night.

Police say two men walked up to a red Chevy Monte Carlo SS that was stopped in heavy traffic. The suspects allegedly pulled out handguns and said “drop it off.” 

It is not clear what that meant. The driver of the car tried to drive off when police say one of the suspects fired killing 23-year-old Dylan Lovell.

Downtown resident, Gus, says it’s disturbing.

“It’s definitely concerning to hear,” he said. “You don’t want to hear of anyone being in danger. But as long as I’ve lived here p,  felt pretty safe being downtown. It’s a great presence with police.”

Just last month a 13-year-old girl was shot as she rode a scooter along Riverside Drive.

Jerred Price, president of the Downtown Neighborhood Association, says he is working closely with the police.

“We’re one of the top tourist destinations in the nation but there is an uptick in crime in downtown. However, it still remains one of the safest zip codes in the city,” said Price.

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Posted by Memphis Police Department est.1827 on Sunday, April 18, 2021

Price says police add more officers downtown during peak periods.

“We’re in constant contact with MPD,” he said.

Price said he is working with city leaders on new ordinances to make downtown safer.

Police have surveillance photos of one of the suspects in the Saturday night shooting. He is wearing a white hoodie and light-colored jeans.

Police tell WMC this is an ongoing investigation and at this point the motive for the shooting is unknown. If you recognize the man in the white hoodie call Crime Stoppers at 901-528-CASH.

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