West End gun fire creates ‘uneasy feeling’

Published 12:30 pm Thursday, May 28, 2020

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Velma Tinsley spoke to the Clanton City Council during its May 26 meeting on behalf of the West End community.

She raised concern regarding recent shots fired that have taken place within the neighborhood she calls home.

Tinsley gave an account of a barrage of shots that took place on Mother’s Day that she said sounded as if they were right outside her house.

“It gives you an uneasy feeling,” Tinsley said. “You just hit the floor and pray.”

The proximity of the shots fired turned out to be accurate, as Tinsley found several bullet shell casings on her property the next day.

“I’m asking for extra [police] patrol,” Tinsley said.

According to Tinsley, there are several elderly residents that are her neighbors down 14th Street South.

“No one has the right to come on my property and make me feel unsafe,” Tinsley said.

Resonating throughout Tinsley’s speech was a call for community togetherness against those that are creating the havoc.

“We can’t just sit back and let it happen,” Tinsley said. “There’s greatness that comes out of West End, and I’m not downgrading it. I’m speaking out to help.”

Mayor Billy Joe Driver was vividly upset and stated his displeasure with the situation that occurred in West End.

According to Driver, he does not think it is right that the majority of the law-abiding residents in the West End community have to live in fear because of the small percent that do not respect the law.

“You have a right to be safe in your home and not have to sleep under the bed,” Driver said.  “I don’t think people should have to move out just because of a couple of thugs.”

Clanton Police Chief Keith Maddox stated that an increased presence of officers has been taking place more since the incident occurred.

According to Maddox, two officers patrolled the West End area during the Memorial Day weekend.

Councilman Awlahjaday Agee mentioned how he and Maddox have been working closely to figure out the most effective ways to combat West End’s crime problem.