(Memphis) A 17-year-old attending an anti-violence focus group was hit by a bullet outside the North Frayser Community Center Tuesday night.
The teen was transported to The MED and is expected to be ok.
He was a participant in event hosted by 901 BLOC, a city initiative to curb gang violence. As part of the program, Delvin Lane brought 10 people ages 13-24 to hold a focus group in Frayser.
Lane said one of the teens, from Craigmont High School, stepped outside to use the phone. There were a few others outside at the time, including staff members.
“They heard shots from far off, about five or six shots from a distance. A couple seconds later, the kid was like oh, I think I got hit,” Lane said.
He said it looked like an accident.
“I don’t think they were rival gangs, I don’t think they had any kind of confrontation, it was like it was random shots. If somebody had been targeting that kid, they’d walk right up to him and shoot him,” he said,
But not everyone feels it was random. Joseph Hunter, with Gang Inc., also works on anti-gang initiatives. He has worked out of that very community center for years, but said he had no idea 901 BLOC was even using the building Tuesday night.
“I’ve been doing it for over 10 years, ok? Now we got a boy shot, because they just wouldn’t communicate with me. I would have told them, don’t bring the Bloods from Raleigh over to this building,” Hunter said.
While both 901 BLOC and Gang Inc may have good intentions, Hunter said, “We have a lot of good intentions, but intentions don’t stop bullets.”
Lane said that lack of communication may have been an issue before under different leadership, but now they’ll be talking.
Lane said that the people using the community center in Frayser feel upset that they may be getting undue heat now, when they know their community center is typically safe.
Trell Bell uses the gym to play basketball, and he said he doesn’t feel scared.
Still, “From now on everybody got to watch their back when they come over here, leave the gym earlier than what they usually do,” Bell said.