Statistics show an increase of children killed by violence in 2017

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Police are monitoring an unnerving trend that seems to continue from years past.

Children, grandparents, mothers and fathers were all killed due to violence in Memphis in 2017.

200 people fell victim to the violence, including nine kids who were killed.

That's more than the year before.

This goes beyond the statistics. For every homicide two lives are forever ruined, and the devastation is felt across communities.

Laylah Washington was riding in her mom's car last summer when apparent road rage led to gunfire.

The little girl was killed at just 2-years-old.

Richard Jordan was with his mother when she claimed someone in another vehicle fired shots that killed the 10-year-old football player.

Susan Grissom, a mother and wife, was killed in her own home during a reported robbery.

Innovation Church Pastor Marron Thomas says his brother was also shot and killed in 2017.

"The motive was robbery. My brother would have given anything to anyone, so it's tough," Pastor Thomas said.

WREG found out from the Memphis Police Department that most homicide suspects in 2017 were between 18 and 24 years old.

Most victims were between 18 and 44-years-old.

That is similar to statistics in 2016.

Police also say African American men accounted for almost 75 percent of homicide victims and a majority of the suspects in 2017.

Most homicides occurred on Monday's in 2016, compared to Saturday in 2017.

Pastor Thomas says the unnerving trends only has his church working harder to mentor youth by preparing them for college and creating job opportunites.

"We ask that they mentor younger kids as well, so it can be a cycle," he said.

The pastor says he believes more people need to get involved.

"We don't need you in the barbershop talking about it. We don't need you in the country club talking about it. We need you involved. We need hands on people in the community," Pastor Thomas said.