ORANGE MOUND, Tenn. (FOX13) –Shots ring out at an Orange Mound apartment complex as frightened tenants scurry for cover.
WATCH VIDEO: Woman firing gun outside of apartment
This outburst is the latest incident to reflect the life-threatening conditions tenants of the Avery Park Place Apartments have been living with over the last month.
It’s a facility where ownership and management appear to be non-existent for families who say they have nowhere else to go.
Terri Brown says the apartment she shares with her daughter has been broken into three times. At night they hear gunshots and empty apartments being ransacked by looters.
She came to the Avery Park Apartments with hope for a better life but all she has left is desperation.
Consider it your official welcome to the “hell on earth” inhumane conditions now being endured at the crumbling Avery Park Place Apartments in Orange Mound. With her daughter Andrea huddled by her side, Terri Brown, remembers the high hopes she had when two years ago she moved into the complex located in the 29-hundred block of Park.
“When I got here most of the units were empty. But, it was clean and it looked promising…looked like something that could turn into a nice place to live,” says Brown.
But, since that time, Brown says there have been four different changes in management with the rent going up each time, while maintenance became non-existent. Earlier this month tenants saw a man, who had been claiming to be management, for the last time.
“Only time he showed up was to collect rent. If you called him about repairs, he said call the office. But there was no number for the office. If you asked him for an office number he hangs up.
Only pictures can tell the true story of degradation and unhealthy squalor surrounding the less than half full complex, now occupied by a dozen adults and nearly two dozen children ranging in age from 3 to 16. One mother of four, who did not want to appear on camera, still voiced her fears about what’s happening in this urban “no man’s land.”
“Kicking the doors and stuff open. Snatching hot water heaters and stuff. Throwing bricks and stuff through the windows at nighttime. Dump trash, come over here shoot guns. Whatever they want. We ain’t got no home over here no more.”
Brown, who like her daughter, suffers from epilepsy and other medical issues that’s placed her on disability says she’s has made an effort to find the apartment’s owner.
However, it proved to be a dead end.
Brown said, “I called the State Assessor’s Office…and they gave me a name and number for a gentleman that was in California. But, she said he had forfeited on his taxes and the state has taken over the property…I can’t up and move, because I don’t have anywhere to go. I’m here until I can do better.”
Hopefully, she and her daughter will survive long enough at Avery Park to wait for those better days to finally arrive…somewhere else… they can again call home.
We want to know what you think: Is the city doing enough to prosecute delinquent owners of blighted properties?
UPDATE: We’ve just learned MPD did go to the scene, took a report and they have identified the suspect in the video. No arrest has been made at this time.