KNOXVILLE, Tenn — A University of Tennessee student woke up to a bullet flying through her window at an apartment complex on Cumberland Avenue on Sunday around 3 a.m. Gunshots also damaged two cars.
No one was injured, according to the Knoxville Police Department.
It happened near the Cumberland Avenue strip. The shots came from two people firing at each other in an alleyway by East Tennessee Children's Hospital between 19th and 20th Streets. One of the cars hit belonged to the hospital.
The apartment, Slate at 901, was on the other side of the strip.
On most weekends, the strip is packed with students until bars close at 2:30 in the morning.
Saturday night into Sunday was no different except when students were heading home, they heard gunshots.
"Absolutely terrifying, but actually crazy," said UT sophomore Jackson Lewis. He was up Sunday morning when the shooting began. "I was with my friends and heard five gunshots go off," he said.
From his balcony, he could see the scene unfolding below him, "All of a sudden we hear seven more gunshots go off this way and all of a sudden we see everyone booking it for cover. We have video of people running this way and that way, just away."
The shooting happened in an alleyway behind several Cumberland Avenue businesses.
KPD said two men started shooting at each other. Their bullets hit nearby cars and one bullet even hit the complex Lewis was in. It flew through another student's window and hit her dresser.
Studio X is one of the businesses in front of the alleyway. Manager Sandy Whitt said the ongoing loitering problem needs to stop, "The loitering down here, it's bad."
She says Studio X does not own any part of the alleyway or parking lot where the shooting happened, but claims they've requested more patrol for that area before.
"We still continue to be like, 'We'll come out of pocket to pay security or whatever it is to sit back here,' but we can't because we get declined or denied because it's not our parking lot," said Whitt.
She hopes this is a wake up call that more needs to be done to protect the students.
"It's our priority," Whitt said.
KPD said the men involved in the shooting left before they arrived. No one has been arrested. It's still an open investigation.