Family and friends of 12-year-old boy who was killed call on community to put the guns down

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Just a week after another child was taken by gun violence in Memphis, his former coaches and teammates are trying to send a peaceful message.

Ta’shun Hardrick was beloved, but it is not just about his death. The adults that organized Wednesday’s event said gun violence affects Memphis children more than ever, and they are tired of young lives being taken.

“We’re standing up for what we believe in, and taking our communities back from the gun violence,” Toyniko Perry, a Memphis teacher, said.

Ta’shun Hardrick (submitted photo)

Barely a week after 12-year-old Hardrick was shot and killed in his own neighborhood, it still does not seem real to those that knew him.

“He was a good kid. He actually was a part of the Humes (Middle School) championship team,” said Chavis Daniels, the event organizer.

Hardrick played football in Memphis, and the support from the youth sports community seemingly has not stopped since his death. His former coach, Daniels, organized the event, “Saving Our Sons” walk, bringing out dozens of children and families to march from the fields that Hardrick played ball, to the neighborhood where he was killed, hoping to send a message of peace.

“Everybody has a part to do. It takes a village. I feel like everybody has a part to play in the village, and that’s what we’re trying to do,” Daniels said.

As residents who were born and raised in this community, event organizers understand the pitfalls that Memphis kids can face. But they are worried younger children are more in danger now, than ever before.

“It’s definitely getting worse,” Daniels said. “No matter what child it is, it always hits home for me.”

More than 50 kids and adults showed up for the “Saving Our Sons,” event, and there is hope the message will find its way across the city.

“We’ve gotta do something about this. I feel like we can complain about stuff constantly happening, but what are we doing to make a difference,” Daniels asked?

There is still no suspect information in the shooting that killed Hardrick. If you know anything about the incident, you are asked to call Crimestoppers or law enforcement.

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