Memphis pastors worry about effect shooting death of 4-year-old in North Memphis will have on other children

Memphis, Tenn. — Memphis Police have identified the man they said is responsible for a shooting that left a 4-year-old boy dead Saturday night.

According to MPD, Terrell Woods fired the shot that killed the boy.

RELATED: 4-year-old boy shot, killed in car, police say

Police said that Woods was outside of a car with several adults and the boy in it when he and one of the adults in the car began arguing.

This is the second minor to be shot and killed in Memphis in 2021.

RELATED: MPD: Man who shot, killed 4-year-old boy identified

The death of any child is tragic, to Memphis Pastor Charlie Caswell, it’s also a sign of a city out of control and he can’t look away.

Pastor Caswell told us, “I had somebody to be a buffer for me, so it made me say I can be a buffer for another young person.”

Caswell saw a 13-year-old friend murdered in front of him and says that violent act haunted him for years and he says it’s the same for our children now.

Caswell said, “It don’t start when they’re 14,15 years old. It starts when they’re a child and when they come up in that dysfunctional community and dysfunctional home where they think this type of behavior is OK.”

Reverend Caswell says kids who saw Saturday’s killing and others can carry that trauma and it can affect the decisions they make.

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Caswell says he’s seen it with his own eyes, “When you’re traumatized you focus on the bad and miss out on the strengths of the things that are good.”

Pastor Ricky Floyd agrees and says it’s not only things that affect them directly, but what they see from us and from movies, music and video games.

Pastor Floyd told us, “A child is being programmed repetitiously on how to kill, how to steal, how to destroy and we’re expecting those children who are seeing that as acceptable and we’re expecting them to be role model citizens and it’s just not going to happen.”

Floyd said that comes from the young men he mentors and this doesn’t affect just one part of town, “We can’t see this as, ‘that Black kid in Frayser or North Memphis got killed. We got to see it as one of our children have gotten killed.”

Both men spoke about how our adverse childhood experiences affect us and how we have to face those and work on them to reduce the effect they can have on our own lives.

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