Nashville, TENN. - Officers and sergeants from the Metro Police Department did not have many answers, nor clues, surrounding two Saturday afternoon shootings not far from the campus of Tennessee State University on the city's north side.
The first, an apparent armed robbery, happened in the vicinity of 23rd Avenue North and Buchanan Street, in broad daylight. The second, and more serious, shooting occurred on the Wendy's parking lot near the intersection of 28th Avenue North and Jefferson Street.
"All we heard was a pop, and we left," said Angela Strickland, a graduate student and employee at TSU.
Strickland was referring to the afternoon shooting on the Wendy's lot, in which a juvenile male was shot in the chest, according to police. That unidentified, young victim was in critical but stable condition, at last check, at Vanderbilt.
"This is the first time I've ever heard of anything like this happening at homecoming," Strickland said. "I always feel safe here, because nothing ever happens. So, I was really surprised that anything like that would happen today."
The fast food restaurant's drive-thru had to be shut down for several hours as police cordoned off the area and searched for clues.
Not long before that incident, and only blocks away, two male subjects were approached by two males armed with at least one gun, police told NewsChannel 5. Both males, who were on foot, were shot: one in the leg, and one in the foot.
"They were approached by a couple of subjects that demanded money from them," said James Lane, a detective sergeant with Metro Police's north precinct. "And in that exchange, shots were fired."
Asked if the two robbery victims complied with suspects' demands, Sergeant Lane replied: "That, I don't know at this time."
Lane was quick to tout a heavy police presence in the area, given the busy week of activities on and near the campus. One sergeant even said the Wendy's shooting happened with nine police officers posted just a stone's throw from that intersection.
Proximity might not be on the side of TSU homecoming planners, but many are trying to distance the event, from a public relations standpoint, from the two weekend shootings.
"Because people who come to TSU Homecoming are not violent people," emphasized grad student Angela Strickland. "We come here to have fun!"