MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - William Baptiste moved into his home, which sits in the neighborhood right across the street from Robert E. Lee High School, nearly 17 years ago. Baptiste said he’s seen a number of issues involving guns and violence in his neighborhood since then.
“I was a victim of violent crimes on my own block,” Baptiste said. “Right in my own driveway. I’m lucky to be alive.”
Baptiste said there have been shootings in his neighborhood, and he has had to call law enforcement multiple times about drug activity and teens congregating on his street corner with drugs and weapons.
“This neighborhood has become inundated with guns and drugs," Baptiste said.
When asked if the news of a shooting and multiple guns found on campus at Lee High School came as a shock, Baptiste said “no, it didn’t.”
“It’s like they’ve lost hope,” Baptiste said. “They don’t see hope in their lives. They don’t see hope in going to school and doing right.”
Baptiste said he has taken the time to talk to the teens in his neighborhood, and he said the root of the issue is cyclical.
“You should see some of the parents here,” Baptiste said. “They go down the street, cussing out their kids. It’s a lack of respect from the parents to their kids, and then the kids just transform into the parents.”
Cheridy Van Camp said her daughter, a student at Capitol Heights Middle School, came home Tuesday with a number of stories and rumors.
“No one really knew what was happening,” Van Camp said. “So there was a lot of talking.”
Van Camp said she, like Baptiste, was not surprised by the shooting incident.
“I hear a lot about what goes on in the community,” Van Camp said.
Van Camp’s daughter is zoned to attend Lee for high school.
“We’re looking for scholarships now so she can go to private school,” Van Camp said. “It’s just not safe.”