MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A witness and a source close to the investigation said it was an accident involving another child.
This is at least the 12th deadly shooting involving a child this year. It happened Saturday in the parking lot of a Superlo Foods on North Watkins Street in Frayser.
“I was in the grocery store shopping. I saw the parents walk past me together. They came out, went to their car, the mom dropped her bag and said, ‘My baby is dead.’”
This woman, who did not want to show her face on camera or want us to use her name, could not stop crying as she shared the moments after a one-year-old boy was shot and killed while sitting in the car at the Superlo Foods parking lot. The witness said another child got hold of a loaded gun and shot the baby.
“You shouldn’t have a gun unless you know how to use it. You should never leave a gun in the car with a kid period.”
The witness was concerned we could see more instances like this once the permitless carry law goes into effect July 1st.
That law and this incident pushed Ricky Floyd, pastor of Pursuit of God Church in Frayser, to teach gun safety at his church.
“We took our Husband’s Institute boys, which are as young as six years old, through gun training with Jonathon Cross, and it looks like we have to bring him back again,” said Floyd.
Cross is the owner of Dauntless Tactical Training. He teaches people gun safety.
“Get that training early on, and they won’t make costly mistakes even deadly mistakes later on,” said Floyd.
A witness and a law enforcement source told me it looks like that little boy who died outside this Superlo was accidentally shot by another child in the car with him, but it underscores the issue Memphis has with guns.
FOX13 reached out to every city council member requesting an interview, but only Councilman JB Smiley made time to talk.
“My heart goes out to the family. It’s always bad to lose a life, especially when it’s a young person,” said Smiley.
Smiley was heartbroken to learn another child lost their life to gun violence over the weekend in Frayser but is hopeful the police chief, he and his fellow council members appointed can foster change.
“When we talk about how we solve a crime, it starts from the top with C.J. Davis. She will bring a fresh approach to addressing and solving crime,” said Smiley.
So far this year, 10 children have been murdered and two were classified as negligent homicide. In 2020, 30 kids were murdered and four were classified as negligent homicide.
An alarming trend Smiley hopes Mayor Jim Strickland’s new program Memphis Group Violent Intervention can curb.
“We voted in early February to allocate two million dollars, so the mayor could have the funding he needs to address gun violence,” said Smiley.
The program aims to uplift gun violence prevention efforts and will have a gun czar to lead the program.
But that’s not all; Smiley has asked all to join him in emailing Governor Bill Lee to repeal the permitless carry bill that goes into effect this July.
“It’s all about access, criminals may get their hands on guns some type of way, but by making guns more prevalent, they can break into cars and homes to get guns,” said Smiley.
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