KNOXVILLE (WATE) – A neighborhood in North Knoxville is on edge after a shooting. Police responded early Friday morning to Chickamauga Avenue at Oswald Steet, where they found a woman with a gunshot wound.
She was unresponsive and sent to the University of Tennessee Medical Center in critical condition.
Police say the victim and a man were in a verbal argument when the man shot the woman. The man then fled the scene.
A few minutes later, officers found a vehicle near the shooting scene with a stolen linseed plate. The vehicle fled from the officer when he tried to stop it. The suspect eventually drove off the road and into a creek near Broadway Shopping Center.
The man ran off and officers have not been able to find him. It’s not yet clear if he was connected to the shooting.
The victim’s name has not yet been released.
Neighbors on edge
Continued violence in that area has residents frustrated.
“We woke up to sirens and lights in our window,” said Bobby Lindemeyer, a resident in North Knoxville.
A crime scene in front of his home was a sight he didn’t want to see. Lindemeyer says shootings are becoming more common in his neighborhood.
“For the most part this has been a great neighborhood. Just in the last eight months or so, it’s slowly declining, going downhill,” said Lindemeyer.
Lindemeyer now feels it is a dangerous place to live.
“The bullets may not be aimed towards us, but a stray could hit anybody. There are a lot of kids in this neighborhood.”
His neighbor John Comerford agrees. He has lived on Chickamauga Avenue for 31 years. Up until recently, he has never had to worry about his family’s safety. Now it’s a concern on his mind everyday.
“We don’t let our kids out in the front yard too much, unless we’re with them. Even walking with us, we don’t feel safe walking down the street,” said Comerford.
Even being indoors doesn’t provide a sense of security.
Comerford adds, “You could be in your house, and there could just be someone driving by shooting. You just don’t know.”
Neighbors like Comerford are now considering moving because of crime on the rise.
“Because of the way things are happening, I just want to get out,” said Comerford.
Police are stepping up their patrol in this area and Lindemeyer hopes their presence will scare away criminals passing through.
“It’s a good feeling knowing they’re in the area, a lot more than they have been. It’s unfortunate why they’re in the area,” said Lindemeyer.
While officers are doing what they can, neighbors are doing their part by protecting each other.
Lindemeyer adds, “As neighbors, we’re all we have. I can keep an eye on my neighbor’s house and hopefully they’ll do the same.”
Neighbors say they are constantly on high alert.