Nashville sees increase in young gunshot victims so far in 2017

(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – So far this year, 13 teens between the ages of 13 and 17 years have been the victims of gunshot wounds according to the countywide gunshot victims report compiled by the Metro Nashville Police Department.

Those statistics include violent incidents but exclude suicides, suicide attempts, and accidental shootings, according to a disclaimer on the report.

A 16-year-old girl was grazed by a bullet in a shooting in the Edgehill community late Wednesday night.

Metro police said the girl was sitting on a porch at the Edgehill homes with a friend when a white sedan with tinted windows fired several shots, one of which grazed the teen, around 11:45 p.m. She was taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries. Her identity has yet to be released.

So far county-wide, there have been 131 people listed as gunshot victims. That includes people of all ages and represents a 54 percent increase over the same time period in 2016.

Metro Nashville Public Schools is set to release students for summer break next Thursday. Ron Johnson with the Realizing Excellence As Leaders (R.E.A.L.) program said parents should find activities for their kids and teens now if they have not done so yet.

“Find out what interests them and look to fill their time with that,” he said. “If they are interested in getting a job for the summer, the Opportunity Now program is still available I believe.”

Opportunity Now is a summer jobs initiative from Mayor Megan Barry’s office.

“Doing it a week after school is done will mean you have to fight a mindset,” Johnson said. “When you are fighting a mindset you are fighting a habit.”

Johnson said access to firearms and the impulsive nature of teens is a dangerous combination. He teaches anger management and impulse control as part of his program.

“We talk about how life is full of moments,” he said. “Once you have made a decision in that moment you can’t press rewind.”

Teens 17 years old or younger also have a county-wide curfew.

From September 1 though May 31, the curfew is 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and 12 a.m. to 5 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

From May 31 until August 31, the curfew is from 12 a.m. 5 a.m. all week long.