Downtown businesses and locals react to New Year’s Eve mass shooting

Published: Jan. 2, 2023 at 10:26 PM CST
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MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - Chaos downtown as people sprinted from gunfire on New Year’s Eve, and local business owners and residents have high emotions.

“No, I wouldn’t say Mobile is a horrible place to be,” said one woman. “You just have to be cautious wherever you are.”

District one city councilman Cory Penn sent out a statement:

“This past New Year’s Eve my family and I enjoyed all the activities throughout the day and night. We had an amazing time of fellowship. I was saddened to find out that violence took place in our downtown. I truly am praying for the victims and their families and encourage everyone throughout our city, state, and country to do the same. I would like to commend our first responders for their service to our city. I’m also praying for you and your family regularly.

I wish I had the power to stop the acts of violence, but I do have a voice. I’m going to use it to speak against anything that tries to damage our communities and city. I’m going to use my voice to encourage our youth to become productive citizens. Let’s use our voices to speak against violence in our communities and city. We are Stronger Together.”

It’s not just Penn upset. Many businesses downtown are fed up with the violence, including the owner of A&M Peanut Shop, just about a block from where the mass shooting happened.

Buzz Jordan said he loves downtown Mobile and doesn’t think eliminating fun events will solve the problem. He said things like the Moon Pie Drop help businesses like his thrive.

Jordan is confident police had the area covered and immediately acted.

“They were here,” said Jordan. “They were out, but sometimes you can’t stop an argument between two people out of the blue. It wasn’t a random event, so I think the police did a great job of getting on top of the situation as quickly as they did.”

Other locals agreed, saying it’s hard to stop someone once they have their mind made up to harm others.

“As far as the police presence, I really don’t think too much of that would have made a difference, once a person sets their mind to doing something, they’re going to make a way to make it happen,” she said.

Bullets exploded through Urban Emporium Saturday night. Now, windows are boarded up, setting a cold scene.

Locals don’t know what more could have been done to prevent the tragedy.

“What I’m really, truly concerned about is the age of these kids that are passing away or being killed, and I don’t know what it is that we can do as a community,” said one woman.


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