Local news interview with Memphis city council candidate about crime interrupted by drive-by shooting

 May 26, 2023

A Democratic city council candidate in Memphis, Tennessee was doing a live interview with a local news reporter about rising crime in the area when gunshots from a drive-by shooting suddenly rang out, Breitbart reported.

Candidate Yolanda Cooper-Sutton immediately dropped to the ground and began to pray as she also comforted the frightened reporter.

According to Memphis police, the drive-by shooting had been targeted at a nearby apartment complex and nobody was hurt in the mid-day burst of gunfire.

The interview was interrupted by gunfire

In the Tuesday incident that was caught on camera, Cooper-Sutton was spelling out her name at the beginning of the interview about crime and a youth curfew when a series of loud gunshots were suddenly heard and she turned to look toward the sound as she also swiftly ducked out of the camera's view in the opposite direction.

"Get down. Get down. Just stay down and get down," Cooper-Sutton said calmly. "It's ok. Thank you, Lord Jesus. Just stay down and get down."

She then reassured the reporter, whose heavy breathing could be heard in the video, that he was ok, and continued to pray, "Thank you Lord for the blood of Jesus that covers us. Thank you Father for the blood of Jesus. Thank you, Lord. Alright, we should be alright."

"Instinct" and "faith" played key roles in the reaction

On Thursday, Cooper-Sutton joined "Fox & Friends" to discuss the harrowing incident with co-host Todd Piro and explained, "I got a call to do an interview that they wanted us to talk about the crime and the gun crime and the solutions that are now arising with the citizens and with the current administration and what my thoughts were around it."

"I had no idea that we would be in the middle of an actual drive-by shooting," she continued. "In that moment, I knew that it was gunshots, and I knew that it was immediately to get down because a moving target is a hit target every time, and not sure where the bullets were coming from, but I knew there were bullets, and my instinct immediately was to hit the ground, and I did."

"This is something very common around Memphis," the community leader from the Whitehaven neighborhood of the city said. "You can be riding down the highway, the interstate, anywhere, and gunshots. I really can't tell you.

"I just know, at that moment, and you play this moment over and over and over again in your head, because we do live in the city like we do right now, and the increase in gun violence and the drive-bys, at any moment, anything can happen," she continued. "You prepare yourself mentally. Should we be in that act or ready to be in that mode? No, but this is where we are right now."

As for her immediate prayer following the gunfire, Cooper-Sutton said, "I knew if I called on the name of the Lord that we would be okay, and that was my faith. No matter what the situation was or what the circumstance and what was going on at that time, I knew that when I called on that great name, our Lord Jesus Christ, we would be okay."

Memphis crime rate up over last year

Fox News reported that, according to the Crime Commission, a nonprofit organization focused on public safety that tracks crime statistics, crime rates in Memphis are up this year over last year.

In Shelby County, where Memphis is located, the overall crime rate is up 17.4 percent compared to the same time in 2022, and that overall increase includes a 5.4 percent increase in major violent crimes along with a 42.1 percent increase in major property crimes.

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