Lashella Carthens has one word to describe how she felt when a woman was shot across the street from her home on Sunday night.
“Disgusted,” she said. “I mean, I’m just tired. I’ve been living here too long.”
On her street alone, the 1100 block of Buchanan Street, police received 69 service calls so far this year, an increase from the 42 they received by this point in 2018, according to documents provided by the Lynchburg Police Department.
“Last night, I couldn’t even sleep, Pow pow pow pow, gunshots just flying through here. Bullets don’t have names, and they need to put the guns down.”
She wants authorities to come down hard on residences where violence occurs, for the safety of everyone on her block.
“My neighbor girl up the street, she’s got seven kids. I mean, that could have been her place. You know what I’m saying? It could have been anybody. She could have been coming out, the kids could have been standing by the window.”
Lynchburg police say neighbors shouldn’t be concerned, because, they say, most violent crime is targeted rather than random.
“Almost all of these situations, crime in general, aggravated assaults, tend to be between people that know each other,” said Captain Daniel Meehan of Lynchburg Police Department’s Criminal Investigative Division. “Whether it may be a domestic type relationship or a drug transaction or some other form of crime that’s going on, but they’re not generally random acts, so I think that the average citizen can feel safe.”
That’s little comfort for Carthens, who says crime in the area has worried her for a long time.
“I don’t even want to bring my grandkids around here now. They call me, ‘Nana, are you alright?’ No, I’m in here shaking. I’m crying. I mean that really shook me up, so close to my house.”
The shooting comes days after another shooting, just five blocks away.