The Rev. Malcolm Hall Sr. questioned the safety of mowing his church's lawn after learning that a man, a woman and a teenage girl were wounded Monday in a drive-by shooting a couple of blocks away.
The 10 p.m. shooting was on the 700 block of Breathitt Avenue, just a few blocks from two homicides Sunday night on Charles and Whitney avenues. The violence has made security and precautions primary concerns for some who live and work in the neighborhood, including Hall, who was cutting grass Tuesday afternoon.
"You want to be that lighthouse in the community," said Hall, who is minister at Glen Arvin Church of Christ at 427 Glen Arvin Avenue. "But it becomes where you're afraid. ... It makes you not even want to come over to the area."
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The three people were sitting on a porch when a dark SUV with several people inside drove past and "fired several shots in their direction" at 10:08 p.m., Lexington police Lt. Hunter Faulconer said.
The three victims were taken to University of Kentucky Hospital with minor injuries, police said. The teenager was grazed in the leg by a bullet, the woman was hit in the foot and the man had what appeared to be shrapnel in his leg, Faulconer said.
There was no indication that it was related to Sunday's shootings, police said.
It was the third shooting in the area in just over 24 hours. Montez Lamont Graves, 31, died after he and another man were shot while in a car about 6 p.m. in the area of Whitney Avenue and Michigan Street. Ronnie Graves, 54, was shot in car at Charles Avenue at Hickory Street Sunday night. He died at University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital just after 9:30 p.m.
Additional cars are patrolling the area, police Lt. Clay Combs said Tuesday.
"We're doing the best we can," Combs said.
Lori Clemons, director of neighborhood services at Lexington Rescue Mission, said she hasn't seen any extra police presence in the area.
The Lexington Rescue Mission at 444 Glen Arvin Avenue is centrally located in the area of the three recent shootings. Lexington Rescue Mission employees try to make the center "that safe place" for people to go, Clemons said.
Sadness is the most prominent feeling for Clemons after the recent shootings. "We can't respond in fear, because then violence is winning," Clemons said.
"Even if I'm afraid of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, it's not going to prevent it," Clemons said. "I don't want to always be anxious."
Workers at the center try to meet physical, emotional and spiritual needs, Clemons said. Most of the people they serve live in the surrounding area.
No one gives the center trouble because it is the safe place, Clemons said.
People look to Hall for answers that he doesn't have, Hall said. Hall's idea to prevent violence: Bring young people back to God.
"A majority of these young kids don't know what it feels like to go into a church." Kids need positive messages of loving each other, Hall said.
Montez Graves was among those whom the Lexington Rescue Mission served, Clemons said. Since Graves' death, Clemons has heard that he was regularly in trouble, but the center never had any problems with him.
Both Montez Graves and Ronnie Graves faced charges through the years.
Montez Graves had been charged with cocaine trafficking, being in a possession of a firearm, resisting arrest, third-degree assault on a police or probation officer and other drug possession charges. He had been scheduled to appear in family court Tuesday in a 2013 domestic violence case.
Ronnie Graves' criminal history dates to 1993, when he was charged with third-degree burglary and theft by unlawful taking. Since then, he had been charged with several traffic violations, driving under the influence, assault, fleeing and evading police, resisting arrest and third-degree assault on a police or probation officer. Earlier this year he was charged with failing to have vehicle insurance and not having registration. He was due in court in August on those charges.