Rash of shootings prompts focus on apartments in Murfreesboro

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MUFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) – Murfreesboro police are increasing patrols after an uptick in shootings at apartment complexes near Middle Tennessee State University.

Three hundred arrests have been made since March 1 in the zone around the campus. The arrests range from drug charges to felonies.

Earlier this month, a man was killed at the Student Quarters Apartments across the street from campus, and Tuesday night, 18-year-old Kendrick Love was killed at the Gateway Apartments about a mile away.

City leaders and the police department are now going to hold the owners of these apartment complexes accountable to all the violence that has taken place on their private property.

The Student Quarters have seen its share of violence with a homicide and several shootings over the past few weeks.

Now, management has hired a private security company to check each and every vehicle that comes through.

Murfreesboro police have also saturated extra patrol around the MTSU campus, hoping more visibility will help cut down the recent rash of violence.

(Photo: WKRN)

“It’s not just a police problem. This is a community problem, so we’re taking a community approach in addressing it,” said Sgt. Kyle Evans.

Police believe drugs are the main reason for the uptick in crime near apartment complexes where students call home.

“Officers have made over 300 custodial arrests, ranging from warrants to very serious felonies, drugs, firearms, and everything in between as a result of our increased effort,” Sgt. Evans explained.

The increase crime has gotten the attention of city hall as well with new programs and methods being put in place to hold privately-owned apartment complexes accountable. Click here to read more about the plans.

“Really get these individually, privately-owned complexes under control, and that’s what it boils down to. The individual property owners are going to have to be able to know who they are renting to, how they are renting, what they are allowing to come in,” said Mayor Shane McFarland.

On Tuesday, McFarland met with apartment managers about the growing concern of violence. The city has recommended implementing lease provisions, terminating leases for drugs or violent offenses, and towing vehicles of non-residents.

“I would tell the Murfreesboro residents if you take the incidents that we’ve had directly around the university, if you were to take those out of the crime data, there are relatively zero shots fired in the Murfreesboro community,” Mayor McFarland said.

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