Bellevue sees increase in gun violence over last year

(Photo: WKRN)
(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Metro Nashville police’s West Precinct has seen an increase in gun violence, according to crime statistics obtained by News 2.

Residents in Bellevue told News 2 they are concerned by recent shootings in the area.

The latest was Monday night in the parking lot of Exxon on Old Hickory Boulevard and Highway 70 South.

“It is sad to hear and it is pretty alarming. I just moved here recently and expected this neighborhood to have less crime,” resident John Howser said. “It is somewhat alarming to know that this is happening around me.”

Metro police told News 2 a man chased after a man who stole his wallet and a gun off the front seat of his truck. He chased him and then was shot with his own gun.

Photo: WKRN
Photo: WKRN

A witness told News 2 she saw the exchange and called 911.

In November, two men were hurt in a double shooting at Bellevue Heights Apartments on Amberwood Circle.

In July, Billy Ray Plunk was murdered during an attempted robbery at the Iroquois Apartments. His brother who was with him was not injured.

Two men have been indicted in Plunk’s murder and are set for trial in August 2017.

“It has been really tough over the past few months,” his cousin Justin Spurlock said. “They say with time it gets easier but it is really been tough as time has gone on.”

He continued, “After Billy Ray’s death, it is hard to watch the news and see these things continue to happen.”

According to crime data for the West Precinct, which includes Bellevue, year to date there are 19 gunshot victims who died or were injured in the precinct. That is compared to 14 at the same time last year, a 35 percent increase.

Additionally, the largest increases are in the 111 Zone, which includes the Charlotte Avenue Corridor along I-40, and the 121 Zone which includes the heart of Bellevue. Both areas saw in increase of 4 victims, but in the Bellevue area there were 0 this time last year.

(Photo: WKRN)
(Photo: WKRN)

Metro police pointed out a disclaimer on the report that said: “This report is intended to be a management and planning tool and does not reflect the official UCR counts for the department.”

UCR stands for Uniform Crime Reports. UCR is a nationwide, cooperative statistical effort of nearly 18,000 city, university and college, county, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement agencies voluntarily reporting data on crimes brought to their attention, according to the FBI.

The department also said population growth and crimes between known associates can impact the increase in violent crime.

County wide, the number of people killed or injured by gun violence is up 6.5 percent year to date.

These statistics do not include suicides, suicide attempts or accidental shootings.

“Things are getting worse in the area and the statistics show that we need to take it seriously and we need to get it to stop,” Spurlock said. “Bellevue is a nice place and Nashville is a nice place we can’t continue to have these things happen.”

Metro police also remind you to report suspicious activity to officers by calling them at 615-862-8600 or calling 911 if it is an emergency.

News 2 is committed to tracking crime across Middle Tennessee. Read the latest at wkrn.com/crimetracker.