City Market businesses concerned for safety after shooting

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – On Wednesday afternoon it was a lot quieter in City Market after what happened early that morning.

Employees in the surrounding businesses said they’re a little on edge leaving work and being in that area in general.

“It’s really scary thinking that you know if that happened any sooner I could’ve been right here,” Jessica Ferrera, a manager at the Wolf Gang Bakery, said. “I was nervous when my boss was like “City Market is clear to open” and I was like “oh gosh”, so I mean there’s definitely a lot of anxiety going forward.”

Ferrera added she was even surprised to hear where it happened.

“The fact that it happened in the big hub, you know, it’s like the big epicenter of the tourism here,” Ferrera said. “So, that was extremely shocking, and then I thought about all of my friends who work in City Market.”

Several businesses were still open at that time, including the one where Patrick Brown works.

“Late nights and weekends like this I know it’s happened before and I know when it’s really late at night and gets crazy like this I try to not go out late,” Brown said. “Stay inside and go straight to my car.”

However, that’s easier said than done.

One reason is because people who work in that area said there is a lack of policing during that time.

Another woman News 3’s Devin Negrete spoke to, who wants to remain unnamed, works off of MLK near the crash site. She said it’s the lack of police is like that on a nightly basis.

Their business closes at 1 a.m. and they fear for their safety when closing up.

She’s not the only one.

“I’m thinking that the safety is going to have to get a lot more strict in City Market just with the amount of people that we have coming in and out and just the violence that surrounds the historic district,” Ferrera said. “It’s starting to come into it now.”

But according to the Police Chief, that may not happen.

Negrete asked in a press conference: “Does this further prove that enforcement needs to be up all the time? Because the only reason why enforcement was up now is because of the holiday.”

“It doesn’t prove that we need scores of officers there,” Chief Jack Lumpkin, with Savannah-Chatham Metro Police, said. “We have to get away from just pure geographic policing and police towards people.”

Leaders with the Downtown Business Association are calling for unity. They’re hoping differences can be put aside to increase safety for everyone.

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