Dozens of shots fired in drive-by outside candlelight vigil

(Source: Submitted)
(Source: Submitted)

SHELBY COUNTY, TN (WMC) - Shelby County Sheriff's Office is investigating a drive-by shooting that happened at a candlelight vigil.

A night meant to honor victims of violence turned violent itself when shots rang out at around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The shooting happened the corner of Egypt Central and Northwood Hills Drive.

One vigil attendee said the vigil was put on for two men who were killed Monday night at Sycamore Lake Apartments during what investigators said was a drug deal.

No one was injured in Tuesday night's shooting.

"I thought it was thundering before I knew, it was just pow pow pow pow pow pow," said neighbor Sadie Newsom. "I mean it just kept going and doing and going."

Newsom couldn't believe it.

"It was very terrifying," Newsom said.

Evidence markers show maybe as many as 50 9-millimeter and 357 shell casings at the spot where the vigil was held.

Shyteria Dunlap, the cousin of one of the victims, was also at the vigil.

"We're in the process of having a vigil trying to celebrate his life and memory," Dunlap said. "Near the end of it there's a drive by shooting."

Dunlap said 100 people were at the vigil on Northwood Hills, including children, outside the home where her cousin Eric Niles lived with his parents.

Neighbors' vehicles were shot up, windows shot out with glass on the driveway, and some houses were hit.

"I tell you I've never in my life experienced anything to that degree when I tell you it was scary and I just thank God nobody was hurt," Dunlap said.

Niles, who turned 19 on May 4, played football for Craigmont. Investigators say Niles and 21-year-old Derrick Pendergrass were shot and killed after a fight over a gun at the Sycamore Lake Apartments earlier this week.

Investigators named Niles as the suspect.  Niles' family admits he had gotten into the wrong crowd, but they don't understand the retaliation.

"None of that would bring any life back," Dunlap said.

Deputies are looking for the suspects in both shootings.

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