Pastor says three issues must be addressed to stop violence against children in Memphis

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — In the last week, several teens have been injured from gunshot wounds. Wednesday night, a toddler was killed when someone opened fire on a house in North Memphis.

RELATED: 2-year-old boy shot to death in Memphis, police say

People in the community have called for change.

“When I hear of a 2-year-old being killed, it’s a state of emergency,” said Pursuit of God Transformation Center Pastor Ricky Floyd.

Floyd is calling on everyone to help stop the violence against children in Memphis.

“We’ve got to do some things quickly — unorthodox, out of the box — to create some momentum to make our community safe and out children safe,” said Floyd.

So far this year, at least four kids have been shot across Memphis. Two have died from their injuries, including a 2-year-old boy who was killed when someone shot up his house on Clayton Ave.

“I believe that the reason we see so much crime in here is three things: the poverty spirit that we have here in Memphis, mental illness, and the school system,” said Floyd.

To turn things around, Pastor Floyd has launched a mentoring program for boys and partnered with Agape Child and Family Services for counseling.

John Cross, a gun safety trainer with Dauntless Tactical Training Centers of America, told FOX13 many shootings involving kids are accidental.

“When we’re in our home we have to keep the guns away from children, locked in a secure place,” said Cross.

According to Memphis police, 60 percent of the guns taken off the street are stolen from a legal gun owner’s vehicle. That’s why it’s not only important to properly store your gun inside your home, but inside your car as well.

“We probably need the district attorney to start charging people for leaving being reckless with the storage of their firearms in their vehicles because criminals are specifically looking for guns,” said Cross.

For more information about Pastor Floyd’s mentoring program, CLICK HERE.