Memphis searches for answers after seven killed in violent weekend

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The community is reeling after a violent weekend in Memphis, with seven people shot and killed since Friday.

All seven of the victims, including the one from a shooting near Le Bonheur early Monday, were men. Six of them have been identified by police and are ages 23 to 49.

We found out the majority of these crimes had more than that in common — four of the victims are believed to have known the suspects.

"We had a pretty tough weekend," said Bill Gibbons with the Memphis Shelby Crime Commission. “I think what we’re facing is a situation where, unfortunately, people are trying to resolve conflict through violence, and we need to address that."

Gibbons said they’re addressing that by holding people who commit gun crimes more accountable with stricter punishments.

“We really need to focus on reducing the number of people who would ever even think about engaging in violence as a way of resolving conflict.”

Police are still figuring out what caused some of the weekend’s violence, like the 49-year-old father killed Sunday after mowing a lawn.

Later in the day, a shooting in Parkway Village seemed to be a robbery gone bad.

Another tool to help is a new assessment center for first-time juvenile offenders. It’s expected to open later this year.

The goal is to assess what’s going on with young people the first time they commit a crime and address it away from the general jail population, so they don’t commit any more.

“We have a long way to go to make sure all of our neighborhoods and our city are as safe as they need to be,” Gibbons said.

Statistics do show violent crime is down compared to this time last year, specifically gun-related crimes.

But a violent weekend like we just had shows there’s still plenty of work that needs to be done.

Police still need suspect information in all of these shootings. If you have any information, call Crime Stoppers at 528-CASH.