Opry Mills employees want more security at mall following recent shooting

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Posted at 6:18 PM, Jan 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-11 21:30:08-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Opry Mills employees say they want more security at the mall after another shooting sent a 20-year-old to the hospital with critical injuries.

Metro Nashville Police officials say a man attempted to rob the woman at gunpoint in the parking lot. She was sent to the hospital with critical injuries.

"It's very scary," said Monica Alexander, who just had clocked in for work at Opry Mills, "It was not even 10 minutes later and security was over the intercom saying "code red everyone evacuate" the mall."

The most recent shooting wasn't her first time experiencing violence at the mall. She said she's seen her fair share of Friday night fights.

"One time there were like 16 kids trying to fight each other in the food court," said Alexander.

Rajah Brian Lockhart says his experience is similar. In fact, during his first day of training three months ago, there was a shooting. A teen opened fire near the food court, prompting a massive response.

"It's one way or another," Lockhart said, "either it goes great and people shop or something dramatic happens and it gets shut down."

Sydney Mattern has been working at Opry Mills for about a year now. She said she wishes the mall would increase their security as well. Last year, Nashville police released a report on the most dangerous parts of the city and it included Opry Mills.

"It's always been rowdy," Mattern said. "Just like, yeah, we work at Opry Mills, that's just how people act here, that's our excuse."

We reached out to police to see if they would be adding extra patrols and they sent us this statement:

"MNPD and Hermitage Precinct, in which Opry Mills is located, have for years worked with Opry Mills security. They have their own security division and also hire extra duty officers for added protection. The area is routinely patrolled."

We also reached out to Opry Mills representatives but haven't heard back at this time.