Law enforcement: Youth gun violence may be on the rise

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – In light of several cases of gun violence involving young people this week, area residents and agencies speculate that the problem could be growing.

The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office doesn’t keep specific records about juveniles and gun violence, but said the issue is an increasing concern.

“We have seen a steady increase in that over the last few years, not only here but nationally,” said SCSO Public Information Officer Chip Washington.

Shelby County Juvenile Court records suggest officials dealt with nearly 140 young people bringing guns to school in 2012.

Community members said the problem needs to be addressed, whether that happens with the city’s Gun Down initiative or some other plan.

WREG spoke with a young man who turned to school sports to avoid getting into trouble.

“It’ll just be your brothers from football or basketball who have your back instead of these actual thugs who are going to end up getting shot and killed,” said Memphis native Jerome Martin.

Memphis police are working to gather the number of reports of gun violence involving young people.

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