Lonsdale on edge after fatal gang-related shooting

One man is dead after a firefight erupted on Saturday evening in Lonsdale Homes between members of the same gang, police said Monday. Dwayne Goines, 28, of Knoxville died from his injuries at a hospital following the shooting, according to a Knoxville Police Department news release.

After the smoke cleared, more than 80 shell casings littered the area, and four other people were taken to various hospitals with gunshot wounds. Their injuries didn't appear to be life threatening, police said.

Before the shooting began around 7:15 p.m. at the corner of Minnesota Avenue and Pascal Drive, Kristi Hodge and her mother-in-law Glenda were sitting on the back porch of their home a block away, enjoying the weather. A group of children, who always play outside together in the close-knit community, were shooting firecrackers by a dumpster, Glenda Hodge said.
"And then I heard it again, and I thought it was firecrackers, but it was over that way," she said Monday, gesturing toward Pascal Drive. "... So it got louder and louder and closer and closer, and I got up and went in the house. And the kids was running towards the gunshots and I told them no no no, come back, come back."

The Hodges ushered everyone inside and got down on the floor, lying prone or clutching their knees to their chests as countless bullets ricocheted off nearby buildings. Kristi Hodge said she could hear the difference between the guns being used, and there were several.
"They let loose," she said. "Oh my God, it was ringing, it was echoing off the bricks."

Her 12-year-old son, who was one of a group of boys that found a man's body in a car at Lonsdale in January, wasn't with her at the time, so she called him.
"As soon as he answered he said, 'Mama they're shooting, they're shooting!' " Kristi Hodge recalled. "I said, 'Get down on the ground!' "

Her nephew, a 15-year-old from East Knoxville, was visiting his friend's house in Lonsdale. When the gunfire broke out, everyone in that house ran upstairs. As Hodge's nephew was the last to ascend, a bullet whizzed through the upstairs window and struck him in the shoulder. His injuries aren't life threatening, but Hodge said the bullet is too close to his heart to remove.

The walls of several homes in the area were riddled with bullets, and gunfire shattered the windows of apartments and vehicles. An act of violence of this magnitude is rare in Lonsdale, according to the Hodges, who say the violence is perpetrated by outsiders. The last shooting they recall was that of Zaevion Dobson, who was killed on Dec. 17, 2015, as he shielded two girls from stray gang-related gunfire in the community.

Now, residents are on edge, suspicious of every unfamiliar car and hesitant to even go outside.
"I was walking to the mailbox and I'm scared to death," said Kristi Hodge, who has lived in Lonsdale for seven years. "If a car's driving by, you're looking to see what's about to happen. ... You're paranoid, especially if they're driving slow. You just don't know.
"It's ridiculous. These kids deserve so much more than what the community can offer them. It's not fair for us parents to feel like we have to shelter our children and keep them inside because we don't know what's going to happen. But even that didn't do any good this time.