Sparks fly after church fireworks display, visitors 'disappointed'

Sparks fly after church fireworks display, visitors 'disappointed'
Bellevue Baptist Church (SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)
Bellevue Baptist Church (SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - What was supposed to be a family-friendly night of fireworks and fun outside a Memphis church turned scary for a lot of visitors.

Witnesses said they had a great time at the Bellevue Baptist Church fireworks event, but things got out of hand near the parking lot.

Sonja Jackson was excited to go to the annual Bellevue Baptist Church fireworks display on Sunday. It was her first time attending and she, her child, and her cousins had a great time.

"Just have fun, you know, family time," Jackson said.

But along with the family fun, Jackson encountered chaos near the parking lot.

"There's was just like droves and droves of young people that showed up and they were just being disruptive, there were fights breaking out, they were running, like stampeding towards other fights," Jackson said.

Memphis Police Department said they responded to two incidents. One of those incidents was on the church's property where three youth were arrested for fighting. The other incident was near the church when a gun was pulled.

Jackson said the whole situation ruined a great event.

"I was still very embarrassed, very frustrated," Jackson said.

She said youth in Memphis need to change their attitude, because incidents like this are hurting the city.

"I see them trying to not be a part of the solution, so that's what bothers me," she said.

She wants local youth to ask themselves one question: "What are you doing for your community?"

As for the Bellevue fireworks display, she said it won't stop her from going back to the event.

"I was very disappointed, but it's not going to stop me from going back," Jackson said.

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