Major crime is up, more families destroyed

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The heartache reaches far beyond the yellow tape.

On April 10, 2016, Barbara Jeans got a knock on her door. It was a detective saying her son was shot and killed in a car on Dempster. He needed her to identify the man in the picture.

"When I turned the picture over, it was my son Gerail Jeans," she said crying.

Since that night, Jeans hasn't been the same. She feels numb, shattered and destroyed. Each day gets worse.

Her son was just 24 years old.

Police have not caught who did it.

"I just want to know whoever is out there knows anything about what happened that night could you please come forward. Please! He didn't deserve this," she said.

According to recent numbers from the Memphis Shelby County Crime Commission, violent crime is a real problem in Memphis. The overall crime rate for the city has seen a 1.7 percent increase since 2015.

The major violent crime rate -- which includes aggravated assault, robbery, rape and murders-- increases 3.2 percent from the previous year. Murders alone are up 42 percent as the city recorded a record-setting 228 homicides.

That's 228 families feeling the same pain as Jeans.

Another family knows that pain as well.

Emma Brown's nephew Donovan "Detroit" Mills was shot and killed in December while taking a study break to go to the store.

Mills was set to graduate in May.

The suspect was just arrested this week.

"It's not worth it. To gain the world is to lose your soul. You preferred to be locked up and lose your freedom. What is that gaining you?" she said.

As much as Brown and Jeans want justice, they also want the community to know this violence is destroying families and this city.

"We have to stick together and come together." said Jeans.

The Crime Commission met Thursday for the first time in 2017.

They discussed their 5-year plan they believe will drastically lower crime.

To read more about that plan: