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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Community leaders say “enough is enough” after five children have been killed in the first six weeks of 2018 due to gun violence.
The meeting comes after police charged 19-year-old Joshua Hockett with criminal homicide for the shooting death of 15-year-old Jeremiah Shelton in an East Nashville apartment on Wednesday.
On Thursday, Earl Jordan, with Partners in the Struggle Inc., called on the community and city leaders to step up and address youth gun violence in front of a small crowd in the pews of Mt. Carmel Missionary Baptist Church.
“I couldn’t even go to work today because of what transpired, and I go to work every day because I love my kids at my school,” Jordan explained. “These tears are for every kid that we’ve lost in our city.”
Mothers who have lost their children due to gun violence were also at the meeting crying out for help, including Talia Monget Simmons, who lost her son to gun violence in 2012.
“We are not calling out leaders. We are calling on them. We need help. We are calling on our community,” Simmons pleaded.
Bishop Marcus Campbell also weighed in on how he thinks the community needs to step up and care for youth.
“These kids are hurting. They are pleading out for our help and we are constantly just putting blinders over our eyes and pushing it to the side. It’s time for us to come together and start putting stuff in place. It’s time for us to invest in them like we do soccer, like [we’re] doing this transit,” Bishop Campbell urged.
“We need to invest in our youth the same way we invest in everything. Nashville will never be a better place or this great Nashville that we speak about unless our kids are a piece of that pie,” he continued.
Assistant District Attorney Rebecca Miller spoke on how children are getting guns to commit gun violence crimes.
“From my experience, what I’ve seen, you can buy a brand new gun for $80 in school. A lot of these guns are in the schools. That’s where we are catching a lot of them. They are coming from people improperly storing their weapons in their vehicles and kids just pulling door handles and finding guns. They are actually even finding guns just in bushes. We also see so many young people involved in gun store robberies. These kids are getting serious weapons.”
The four other young people killed in Nashville so far this year are:
- Samaii Daniel, 5 – Shot and killed outside her home on Jan 12, 2018
- Sammarre Daniel, 8 – – Shot and killed outside her home on Jan 12, 2018
- Jose Gutierrez, 16 – shot inside of a car; dropped off at a hospital, where he died on Jan 16, 2018
- Thomas Howard, 15 – shot and killed outside his home on Jan 23, 2018