South Memphis neighborhood fights back against crime

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — People in South Memphis said enough is enough. They’re taking back their neighborhood after four teens are shot in a drive-by.

“Boom, boom, boom!” said an eight-year-old living in Foote Homes Community Complex off Vance.

He didn’t learn that sound from a video game. He said it is gun shots in his neighborhood, including last week, when bullets went flying a few doors down from his home.

“It sounded like a B.B. gun, but it was real bullets,” he said.

Police said four teenage boys were shot with AK-47s next to the basketball court.

“I don’t want to see people hurt each other. I want to see people love each other,” said Trayvon Gooch, an eight-year-old living in Foote Homes.

Gooch said he watches crime through his bedroom window and falls asleep to gunshots. What’s even more unsettling, most of the time, he knows the victim.

“They are out here fighting. They are out here shooting,” he said.

In just the last month, a crime track shows 48 crimes reported near Foote Homes. Most involved drugs, theft and assault.

Some people in the neighborhood are fed up.

Wednesday, they came together with SCLC ministers, activists with FFUN, judges and Memphis police officers for a peace rally.

They cooked out, played basketball and tried to find a way to turn things around to make it safe for the hundreds of kids who live there.

“We cannot have our little children, like these little babies here, constantly growing up in a society where there is no hope,” said FFUN Stevie Moore.

Organizers admit this won’t change things over night, but it’s a start.

“I think I may be too young to see all this and what’s going on right now,” said Gooch.

Police are still looking for the suspects who shot the four teens.


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