NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – With the number of homicides rising, the Metro Nashville Police Department says everyone must work together to address violence.
New statistics show homicides are becoming a trend in the Metro-area and the city now ranks 19th in the nation for its murder rate. That ranking, complied by the Major City Chiefs Association, is above Atlanta and just behind Washington D.C.
In the first six months of 2017, there were 53 homicide victims.
Half of those victims were 30 years old or younger. Sixteen others were between the ages of 16 and 25.
“We must all work together to address violence, particularly among our teens and young adults. Doing so, will have a generational effect and will benefit us all,” Metro police spokesman Don Aaron said.
Community activist Rev. Enoch Fuzz spoke to News 2 about the city’s climbing homicide rate. Fuzz, who leads a congregation in a part of Nashville hit hard by the violence, said many of the crimes share a common denominator.
“In the violent crimes that we see, it is poverty and education – a lack of education,” he said. “In a great city like Nashville, if we are really a great city, let’s get rid of poverty. Let poverty be somewhere else.”
Elycia Butler, 17, told News 2 her family was struck by the violence when her 22-year-old uncle was killed outside her home.
“I saw my granny wake up. I heard the noise and we went to the front door and all I saw was his body on the porch,” she recalled.
Between January and June, Metro police took more than 1,000 guns off the streets, which is a 20 percent increase over the same period in 2016.