After shots were fired in “the bottom” last Friday, long-time resident Micheal Morrow believes it is time for the black community to step up. Russellville’s “bottom” is a predominately black neighborhood that is both rich in history and unity. Lately, however, Morrow is worried that the unity may be unraveling and in danger, because some of the younger generation seems to lack the respect brought about by so much hard work and suffering from the past.
Morrow’s cafe was the scene of the shooting that occurred in the evening on Friday, March 10. Todd’s Cafe is smack dab in the center of “the bottom” and is a popular place for many people in the neighborhood and outside to gather. Morrow explains how he and some friends were sitting at a table playing cards when in walked two young men looking for trouble.
“We were just sitting there and they walked in,” said Morrow, naming Quinton Posey and Jordan Lunsford as the young men. “I know them both. Known them for a long time,” said Morrow. Quinton is the brother of Gregory “Jap” Posey who is currently being charged with murder in the death of Patrick Gilbert back in July of 2016.
Morrow said once inside, Posey pointed at someone at the table and began talking about his brother beating the charges and getting out of jail. Morrow continued saying, “Quinton said if he (the man at the table) said something to him or looked at him the wrong way, that he was going to kill him or something.”
After that statement, said Morrow, it got serious. Morrow stated the two pulled bandanas over their faces and showed a gun. A fight broke out after Morrow tried to call the police. Somehow Morrow said the gun ended up on the table and the two fled the cafe; one down the street and one in a vehicle.
The Russellville Police Department responded and interviewed Morrow about the incident, but no other witnesses would come forward. According to Morrow about a half an hour later shots were fired into the cafe. “There were about six shots,” Morrow remembers. “Thank the Lord nobody was hit.”
When asked if Morrow was scared he replied, “No.” When it was his time to go it was his time and only the good Lord knows.
What Morrow is discouraged about, however, is the lack of courage from those who saw the incident but won’t come forward.
“This is just like the shooting that killed PJ,” said Morrow. “Everyone knows, but no one will step up and say. It’s the coward’s way.”
Morrow said he has had his share of trouble over the years. He said he’s done it all, but is trying to change his life around. He said he cares about his community and sees a pattern of fear that is overcoming the bottom, which was once a thriving and caring community that watched out for one another.
“I remember when I was growing up, everyone watched out for everyone else. If someone saw a kid getting into trouble people got involved. Now, it seems like everyone is scared to get involved,” Morrow said. “We’ve got to take back our community and the only way is to step up.”
Morrow admits he is tired. He is in his mid-fifties and needs help keeping “the bottom” a safe place to live.
“Most the people who live here now are older,” said Morrow, who has lived most all of his life exactly where he lays his head down now. “It’s gonna be up to us to teach these kids they can’t act like this. If they do something bad they have to pay for it. Maybe if they go to jail they can get the help they need.”
To contact Chris Cooper, email [email protected] or call 270-726-8394.