DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A woman has died and four other people were hurt after a shooting at a car wash in South Dallas late Sunday evening.
It happened around 9:30 p.m. at Jim’s Car Wash on Martin Luther King, Junior Boulevard and South Lamar Street.
An employee cleaning up around the business was struck by gunfire and killed.
Police identified her as Sheila Sanders, 56.
Sanders provided handy work at the car wash, according to her husband, Mashall Cornelius.
“Why, why would you do something like that? Why?” Cornelius said Monday.
Police have a camera positioned to record activity at the car wash. It was installed over five years ago, after citizens continually complained about sex and drug solicitation activity. Dallas City Councilman Kevin Felder spent years advocating for the closure of car wash, claiming it repeatedly became of welcome haven for crime and violence in the Fair Park area. “Similar incidents have happened over the years. It is the frequency of the activity that’s been allowed to happen. That means they have to shut down,” Felder said.
The owner of the business, Dale Davenport, said he and his father constantly work to keep violent activity off the property. “We are not the problem. The woman killed was a dear friend. The Dallas Police Department has failed for years to keep this area safe,” Davenport argued.
The husband of victim Sanders agreed. “This place has never been dangerous. It’s just a place people hang out. People get their car washed out and hang out,” Cornelius said.
In the hail of gunfire, three men were shot, and another woman was trampled by a crowd as people fled from the scene.
Crime scene tape surrounded a car with a shot-out windshield, and dozens of markers identified bullet casings on the ground.
All of the victims were taken to Baylor Hospital in Dallas. By early Monday morning, police had not given an update on their conditions, or announced any arrests in the investigation.
“People from this community actually have businesses that they open up and they work everyday,” South Dallas Resident Tabitha Wheeler-Reagan said. “They get up and go back home and they’re involved.”
Wheeler-Reagan said she’s one of those people.
She lives in South Dallas where she owns two businesses and a community center.
She wants people to know despite the bad, there’s still a lot of good happening in her community.
“When you see the news, that’s not what we see every day,” she said.
In a matter of days there have been three murders in her community.
Police are still trying to identify suspects.
“A lot of these people are coming from outside the area and they’re affecting the crime rate in this neighborhood right here,”
Anthony Andujar, with the Dallas Police Association said.
“People come from the other side and create issues,” Wheeler-Reagan said.
Wheeler-Reagan said South Dallas has a reputation and criminals visit under the assumption they won’t get caught.
“We have to work with our partners to make sure we’re providing an opportunity for people to be employed in order for us to reduce crime,” Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall said.
Wheeler-Reagan said she’d like to see more officers in the area and wants to launch a South Dallas community crime watch with police.
“I’d rather deal with them head on and say this is what we see going on and this is what we need and they tell us what they need and we correct the issue together,” she said.
The car wash where the shooting happened is the same business Dallas city leaders have been trying to shut down due to crime.
CBS 11 News first reported last fall, the city council had concerns that the property was attracting criminal activity, including prostitution, gambling and drugs.
This latest Dallas shooting continues a violent string of crime that plagued Dallas in May.
On Friday police announced there were 41 homicides last month, prompting an increased response from Dallas Police to the growing violence.
Dallas Police are asking that anyone with information regarding this incident contact Detective Gilmore with the Dallas Police Department Homicide Unit at (214) 671-3608, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Please reference case #110763-2019.
Crime Stoppers will pay up to $5,000 for information called into Crime Stoppers that leads to the arrest and indictment for this felony offense and other felony offenses. Call Crime Stoppers at 214-373-TIPS (8477), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.