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Multiple Lexington shootings hours apart concern neighbors, anti-gun violence activist

Posted at 6:56 PM, May 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-24 09:11:43-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — One person is dead and four are recovering in the hospital after a string of shootings took place between Friday afternoon and early Saturday morning in Lexington.

Police were called to the 1800 block of Marietta Drive Friday around 6 p.m. where they found a 19-year-old woman and toddler with gunshot wounds. Both victims were taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Police believe it to be an isolated incident and have not released information on a suspect.

A few hours later at 12:45 a.m., police responded to a report of shots fired on Bob-O-Link Drive. Officers said a man forced his way into a duplex and shot a woman inside. The bullet went through the wall and also hit a second woman who lives in the duplex next door. Both women were transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Police said the suspect fled the scene and are asking for anyone with information on the shooting to call Lexington Police.

Then around 2:45 a.m., Lexington Police were called to a shooting on the corner of Winchester Road and Hillcrest Drive.

The Fayette County Coroner's office has identified the victim as 28-year-old Demonte Washington.

Police have not released many details regarding the investigation but have confirmed a suspect is in custody.

There have been at least 40 non-fatal shootings in Lexington since the start of 2021, according to data released by the Lexington Police Department.

Plus, Washington’s death on Saturday marks the city’s 17th homicide this year. All homicides have been the result of gunshots.

“It’s horrific,” said Ricardo Franklin, a Community Outreach Coordinator for the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office. “Isolated incidents, connected incidents, there should be no incidents. It’s really disheartening. You wake up and the first thing you see on your phone is three shootings overnight.”

Franklin has been involved in the fight to end gun violence since his brother, Antonio Franklin, was killed in 2014 by a stray bullet.

Franklin’s mother, Anita Franklin, dedicated her life to preventing gun violence after her son’s death. She created the annual Peace Walk.

Ricardo Franklin has made it his mission to carry on his mother’s legacy since her death in 2020.

“We want to see [gun violence] come to an end altogether,” Franklin said.

Franklin echoed the sentiments of some Lexington residents who live down the street from where Washington was killed.

Neighbors in the area said shootings are happening so often that they now worry that anyone walking outside could fall victim to gun violence.

“No neighbor, no family member, no friend should have to feel like they can’t go outside and enjoy a beautiful day like today because of shootings,” Franklin said. “We’re going to keep working until we see this end. We want to see shootings down to zero.”