Fatal shootings in T-Town have been the subject of the Franklin Stove Blog (FSB) before. In 2020 nineteen year old Schuyler Bradley was shot to death. A wrongful death lawsuit against the shooter and a bar on The Strip was filed in August, 2022, as reported by the FSB.
The most recent death in T-Town of a 23 year old women who was shot to death on January 15, 2023, may garner more attention because one of the people who was arrested in connection to the “shootout” had been a University of Alabama basketball player.
NBC-News‘ Dennis Romero wrote:
The shooting was reported early Sunday in the nightlife district. Sheriff’s officials didn’t say which of the two suspects is alleged to have opened fire or whether they believe both did so.
Al.com‘s Carol Robinson wrote about the shooting’s victim:
The young woman shot to death while driving along the Strip in Tuscaloosa was loved by all, according to her grieving mother.
There have been longstanding problems with having an adequate police presence on The Strip. Tuscaloosa Police Department Chief Brent Blankley was reported by WVUA/23‘s Aajene Robinson to have said, “We are having to put a lot of officers down on the Strip that could go to other areas and increase security.”
Gun violence has not completely restricted to bars on The Strip. In 2012 seventeen people were wounded by a gunman in another area frequented by students, as reported by Reuters.
Shootings at bars near campus are commonplace in communities other than T-Town, such as in the case of Seattle‘s University District, as reported by the Seattle Time’s Daisy Zavala Magaña and Amanda Zhou. They wrote that some University of Washington students felt less secure in the University District than they did in downtown Seattle.
The ASU Center for Problem-Oriented Policing‘s paper “Assaults in and Around Bars” by Michael S. Scott and Kelly Dedel lists the concentration of bars as a contributing factor to crime:
The evidence on the effect of bar concentration is mixed. Some bars attract crime, while others are merely affected by crime in the surrounding neighborhood. Blocks with bars have higher levels of reported crime than blocks with no bars. High concentrations of bars can increase barhopping, and if all bars close at the same time, the risks of conflicts on the street increase. But the mere fact that a neighborhood has a high concentration of bars does not necessarily mean there will be higher crime levels in the area.
As the FSB has pointed out, there has been a concentration of bars and Gastropubs on The Strip.
University of Alabama students would be well advised not to frequent The Strip, but even shooting deaths are not likely to deter many students from being willing targets in the area that has become the center of their social life in T-Town.