Vendors sell Mother’s Day gifts just days after Whitehaven shooting

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A community is healing after a shooting outside of a Whitehaven Shopping Center sends two people to the hospital.

“Today is Mother’s Day, man. This love day. Everybody come out and show love today,” shopper Dean Rodgers said. “Put your guns down come and pick your presents up.”

Around a parking lot in the 4600 block of Elvis Presley Boulevard, there was nothing but smiles as vendors sold Mother’s Day baskets and other gifts to dozens of customers.

“It’s my daughter’s first Mother’s Day,” shopper Tammy Hayes said. “So, I wanted to make it special for her and my sister.”

“She has six kids – boys and girls. So, she deserves something good on Mother’s Day,” shopper Terrance Hayes said.

The atmosphere was very different a couple of days ago after a shooting occurred in the parking lot and injured a man and woman.

Two injured in shooting outside Whitehaven shopping center

Police say the cause of the shooting is still under investigation and that no arrests have been made.

Priscilla Copeland, a local vendor, was in the parking lot when the shooting occurred and immediately ducked for cover when shots rang out.

Though the incident only lasted minutes, it has had lasting effects on vendors.

“I really hate that it happened because it kind of messed up my momentum in selling,” Copeland said.

Copeland told WREG that she’s been selling gift sets at this location for seven years, but she’s been making them for nearly three decades.

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She says she spends roughly $1,000 a year to secure supplies.

“I make all these baskets and I have more I have started at home,” Copeland said.

And she is not alone.

Many of the vendors WREG spoke to say this is their livelihood and they’re not going to let an act of senseless violence stop them from pushing forward.

“Every year since I was little, they’ve been out here,” Terrance Hayes said. “I’m talking about the best thing. You don’t even have to go anywhere, they already got it wrapped up.”

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