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Father of slain son reacts to violence among youth in Shelby County

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Summer break just began and we've already heard about multiple shootings involving young people in Shelby County.

Sunday night there were two shootings with four minor being hit altogether.

Three male juveniles were shot multiple times during a "Sweet 16" party Sunday night in Lakeland, Shelby County authorities said.

WREG was told people who weren't invited showed up and weren't allowed entry.

Once they kept getting denied, they came back with a gun and started firing.

Three young men were sent to the hospital and deputies are working to arrest the suspects.

It’s another senseless act of violence community members want to stop.

“It's very unfortunate. To me, it identifies a bigger problem, a family structure problem, in the greater community. Meaning in Shelby County, what’s going on at home for these kids to come and shoot these places up?" Mayor Wyatt Bunker said.

That’s something Stevie Moore is working to address.

He started the foundation “Freedom From Unnecessary Negatives” or F.F.U.N. after his son was murdered in the street at 23-years-old.

“The next day I made up my mind that even though I can’t bring my son back, I’ll spend the rest of my life trying to save someone else’s child.”

Monday marks the 15th anniversary of his son Prentice’s death.

Moore said hearing about recent violence among youth in our community only encourages his mission more.

“Let’s not get discouraged about summertime. Let’s double our efforts. Let’s do more. If they’ve got more crime, let’s do more good.”

His organization is working to plan an event for the youth every other week.

He challenges others to get involved and try to understand what causes kids to act out from lack of education to a bad home life.

“They’re not bad children. It’s just the environment they’re in. Their surroundings. Their relationships.”

He says the only way to stop the violence is by loving and helping these children, rather than pointing the finger at others.

“Let’s stop blaming. Let’s start collaborating with one another, come together. We’re all in this for the same mission: Let’s stop the killing.”

He also says if people know their kids have guns and aren’t using them responsibly or legally, they need to speak up.

For more information about his organization, go here.

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