Community advocates make it their mission to end youth gun violence

Rita Burleson (Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Change can start with one voice, one impassioned person, who refuses to be silenced.

In this CrimeTracker: Fighting Back report, it’s the mission to save lives by stopping a deadly trend.

Behind every victim, there’s a family grieving.

“I am so sick and tired. Every day, something goes on with these teenagers out here with these guns. They need to stop!” said Rita Burleson with Moms Over Murder.

Her 14-year-old daughter Treyonta was shot and killed in November 2015, another young victim to gun violence.

Her mother relives that every single say.

“I’m asking people where she was at, they said she’s down there, laying on the ground,” Burleson recalled to News 2.

“These teens, 12 and 13 years old, walking around with guns… and some of the parents know they have guns, and they don’t do nothing,” she said.

So far this year, there have been 12 child victims of homicide in Nashville. It ties a 15-year high set in 2015, and it’s only October.

Community advocate Clemmie Greenlee says the youth aren’t being educated enough about not touching guns.

Greenlee, also a family member affected by gun violence, is now on a mission to educate. She’s part of the local Stop the Violence group, as well as Nashville Peacemakers.

Clemmie Greenlee (Photo: WKRN)

From a grassroots level, she’s determined to do what she says is “start making noise.”

“That means I’m going to get in your face, make some people uncomfortable,” Greenlee told News 2.

Last weekend’s teenage homicide hit her hard as well. A 16-year-old girl was killed when she was shot while running from gunfire Sunday night in East Nashville.

“If you see somebody with a gun in a backpack and they say come here let me show you, you say no. Run to the principal office, to somebody’s office, and you tell it,” she told News 2.

The reality of what could happen is the painful memory mothers like these wish they could erase.