10 Memphis children violently murdered in 2021, police say

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — So far this year Memphis police say ten children have been violently murdered. The latest victim is a seven-year-old boy who was gunned down during a drive-by shooting in North Memphis on the Fourth of July.

Investigators said they have closed five of the ten murders cases. As for the latest victim, police said they’re following strong leads they believe may soon lead to an arrest.

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“Put yourself in this case if you had a child and that child was murdered, you would want someone to come forward to help you solve this case. Or help the police try to solve this case, " said Webb Kirkdoffer, Homicide Bureau and Violent Crimes Bureau.

Seven-year-old Kelby Shorty was gunned down in North Memphis on Independence Day.

Shorty’s tragic death pushed the child murder rate up to ten across Memphis this year alone.

The gunmen remain at large, but Memphis police are working to track those involved down.

“Unfortunately, we lost a little one this weekend and we’re all saddened and send condolences to that family, but there has to be better ways to solve a conflict, " said CJ Davis, Memphis Police Chief.

Shorty’s family members believe the motive behind the shooting stemmed from an altercation at a nearby gas station.

Davis called on people to put the guns down.

“We have to create a safer environment,” said Davis. “If you see something, say something. The police department can’t deal with gun violence alone.”

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Kirkdoffer said of the ten children murdered this year, five cases have been solved.

“The goal is to close the rest of them. Be at 100-percent. So, we ask that the public please help us out,” said Kirkdoffer.

Some cases where children died were deemed as reckless homicides.

Back in January, 10-year-old Dameon Chalmers was the first child to die at the hands of a 14-year-old relative in an accidental shooting, according to police.

In May, an infant, Kingston Jenkins was shot and killed as well.

“We seem to see that there is more outrage when it is a child. So, I don’t think the citizens of this community are numb to it at all, " said Kirkdoffer.

MPD is working to close five murder cases involving children. If you have any information that may lead to an arrest, call CrimeStoppers at 901-528-CASH.

A $5,000 reward is offered for each case that gets closed.