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Concern over mass gatherings grows as violence erupts at Tallahassee pop-up party

Posted at 5:15 PM, Sep 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-28 17:15:36-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — One person is still recovering in the hospital after a series of pop-up parties across town ended in a shooting this weekend.

While police continue trying to put a stop to these crowds, people say the governor's reopening plan isn't helping.

Police say more than 700 cars were all blocking Dixie Drive outside the Tennessee Apartments, where police say the biggest group to date gathered on Saturday.

It's a student housing complex.

While some say the parties aren't a big deal, others are saying it's more than just a social distancing problem.

Matthew Fix lives at Tennessee Apartments this semester.

"I pay so much to be here and I just don't feel safe," said Fix.

He says despite the fact that we're in a pandemic the parties don't stop.

"My neighbors counted 360 cars entering and leaving," Fix said. "Just a lot of people here not wearing masks, not social distancing. It's all going on late at night. I have work at four o'clock in the morning every day so it's just really disruptive."

Tallahassee Police say they received dozens of calls Saturday, connected to different groups of people at the complex.

Some complained about the noise, while others complained the people were not following social distancing guidelines.

Police say it's not the coronavirus people should be worried about though. Sometimes these incidents get violent.

"The other night, there was a shooting right outside," said Fix.

It's exactly why TPD is asking people to stay away from these gatherings.

This weekend, those who left the complex joined other parties. At one of them, a fight broke out at a Circle K parking lot.

Two people were shot.

TPD is also asking the community to report the parties and gatherings they see.

"With those large numbers of people, that creates an opportunity for violence," said Alicia Turner, a spokesperson for the Tallahassee Police Department. "Our number one concern is making sure people are remaining safe and that's really hard to do when you have 700 plus vehicles and over a thousand people."

Last week, TPD chief Lawrence Revell pushed for an ordinance ban on gatherings of 10 or more people on Friday and Saturday nights.

While commissioners held off on voting, many say people won't listen if it does pass.