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Gov. Bill Lee opens up about the violence in Memphis and plans to travel to the city

MEMPHIS, Tenn (WMC) – Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee will travel to Memphis to address the recent spike in violence in the city.

Lee held a press conference in Nashville on Thursday and spoke directly to Memphians.

“The Memphis community has seen evil,” the governor said. “Innocent lives have been lost to senseless killings. Those who have committed these crimes, these heinous crimes, will be brought to justice, and swiftly and severely. Our hearts and condolences go out to the families and victims of these horrific crimes.”

Four people were killed and three others injured on Wednesday after a gunman became involved in a random shooting in the metropolitan area.

On Tuesday, police positively identified one body found as that of Eliza Fletcher, who was abducted while out jogging last Friday.

Last week, a Memphis police officer was shot dead while investigating a theft car. A woman and her baby were also abducted and robbed while unloading groceries in a Target parking lot.

A few weeks ago, two Whitehaven parish leaders were ambushed and killed: Reverend Dr. Autura Eason-Williams and community activist Dr. Yvonne Nelson.

“We want Memphians to know we’re with them,” Lee said.

He said it’s important to work on best practice crime prevention to ensure law enforcement is ahead of criminals.

“I want to commend law enforcement and their response over the past few days,” Lee said. “That’s why we invested $100 million in the last budget for the Violent Crime Intervention Grant Fund, that’s why we funded 100 new soldiers, 20 of whom are going to Memphis, and that’s why we are proposing a new law enforcement training center.”

Lee is scheduled to speak at 8 a.m. Friday, September 9 at the Tennessee Highway Patrol headquarters in Memphis.

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