MEMPHIS, Tenn. — After more than a month, there’s still no arrest in a drive-by shooting that killed a 10-year-old boy in Orange Mound.
Jadon Knox was hit and killed by a bullet while playing at a friend’s house Jan. 19.
But months before that, he was caught on video as a group of kids were asking for help to prevent the very crime that killed Jadon.
Last summer, activist P. Moses was running for office. Campaigning took her to Brentwood Park in Orange Mound.
“I am assessing the needs in the community,” she said at the time. “I was just trying to see what they needed over here. I see it’s a lot of trash.”
But she ran into a group of children who asked her a poignant question.
“‘Well, when you get in office, will you get the guns off the street?'” Moses said. “I had never had a child ask me such a serious question.”
So she started recording their conversation.
One of those children, 10-year-old Jadon Knox, was quietly taking it all in, until she started asking him questions.
When she asked him what he wanted to do later in life, he said he wanted to be a rapper. He even gave her a little sample.
Moses remembers the interaction because young Jadon used words she told him weren’t necessary for him to be a rapper.
“I didn’t want to admonish him for what he said, but I took the opportunity to tell him he was strong a black man because that’s what I believe our youth are, regardless of where they live and what they come from,” she said.
She saved the video and didn’t think much more about it, until she saw a news report in January. In a shooting across the street from the very park where she spoke with the kids, one child was shot and killed.
When his picture flashed on the news, Moses couldn’t believe it.
“The more I looked at it and looked at his eyes, I was like, ‘I have met that child before,'” she said. “I couldn’t figure it out, then it dawned on me. That’s the little boy that was rapping. When they said Hanley Elementary, I was like, it has to be him.”
It was indeed 10-year-old Jadon.
Moses said Jadon’s killing made her realize even more the need for solutions to the crimes plaguing the community and taking the lives of innocent children.
“I was saddened to know that that young man who was a part of this conversation lost his life to gun violence,” she said. “The conversation began because of gun violence that the children were fed up with, and it was brought to me as a responsible adult, someone who looked responsible. ‘Can you do something about it?'”
She shared the video with Jadon’s family. His cousin, who didn’t want to go on camera, smiled when WREG showed it to him.
He said it has been hard for the family, especially as there has still been no arrest.
“That’s all we want,” he said. “We don’t need no more blood in the streets. We need justice. Not justice just for Jadon, we need justice for all the little kids who lost their lives out here.”
Just this week, police talked about the danger of guns on the street and losing children in the line of the fire.
“We can’t forget them,” MPD Director Mike Rallings said. “We should all be motivated to say, ‘We will do all we can to protect these kids.’ I predict these cases will go up because it is the availability of guns to individuals.”
But for now, still no arrest means no justice for a little boy who had dreams that now will never come true.
“It’s a problem, and it’s a conversation that all of our elected officials need to begin to have,” Moses said. “The last child that I talked to, the one that had nothing to say, is the one who lost his life to gun violence. It’s a conversation that needs to be heard.”
Police said the shooting of Jadon Knox is still under investigation. Anyone with information that could help police should call CrimeStoppers at 901-528-CASH.