North Memphis pastor pleads for end to violence following shooting

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — It was all caught on camera: a man seen pointing a gun towards a house full of people and shooting.

Now a pastor in the neighborhood in North Memphis is calling for change after the house was targeted not once but twice.

The house, which is owned by the church, is located on Crockett Street sits across the street from Holy Vision Temple. 

The gunfire happening just as church started. 

“We had kids, we had families, I mean we’re a good community of people worshiping here,” said John Lee, pastor at Holy Vision Temple. 

Lee said he rents out rooms in the house to people who are trying to get their lives back on track.

“For people who are in recovery, disabled. Just a real low rate to cover the insurance and taxes,” said Lee.

Pastor Lee says the gunman shot into this home at least 20 times. Bullets shattered the glass door and pierce through windows and barely missed the people who are sleeping inside.

“There were four residents in the building but no one got hurt so that was a blessing,” said Lee.

Lee says the gunman targeted the home twice. He came back about four hours after the initial shooting.

“We’re watching him as he was shooting into the building, and he casually gets back in his car and drives away,” said Lee.

Lee estimates the damage to be up to $10,000 and says no one can live there for the foreseeable future. 

Lee says he’s not sure why someone would target the house or who the shooter is.

“No, no. Since I’ve been here there have been countless shootings on this street. I’m not sure if it was the wrong house, I’m not sure at all,” said Lee.

This isn’t the first time we talked to the pastor.

In 2019, we talked to him after a two people were shot on the street and one of them died. 

At the time, he showed us emails he says he sent to leaders documenting problems going back to 2014.. In the email, he called for more law enforcement support like extra patrols or SkyCop cameras.

Now after this shooting, he asking the same question he asked years ago.

“How many people have to die before you finally put up a camera?” Lee asked. “Right here at a hot zone I’m OK with a temporary camera. Something that can lower the temperature today and violence that can help out.”

Lee created a GoFundMe to help cover the cost to repair church house. You can access it by clicking here.

 We’ve reached out to city officials about the pastor’s requests, and we’re waiting to hear back

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