MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Hearts are broken across Memphis after a 12-year-old boy was shot inside his Orange Mound home early Christmas morning while playing video games.
Twelve-year-old Artemis Rayford was shot and killed at around 2 a.m. Sunday morning, leaving neighbors heartbroken.
A GoFundMe page has been setup to help cover funeral costs.
“He won’t come up this street, he won’t go down this street no more, and like I said, he gone be missed cause I see him every day,” said neighbor Elnoid Parker. “When you see kids like that and you don’t see him no more, how they done lost their life, it’s sad.”
Investigators are still trying to determine a motive for the shooting and locate a possible suspect. Regardless of their findings, Kenny Lee of Ride of Tears says there is no excuse.
“This supposed to be Christmas morning, we supposed to be loving on each other, and to sit up and not only shoot a child but take the child’s life, I’m mad as hell,” Lee said. “I’m mad as hell. I mean, where do we go from here?”
This week, Memphis surpassed last year’s record of 332 homicides and, based on FBI crime statistics, was named the most dangerous city in the country.
Community activist Frank Gotti believes it’s time for everyone to hold each other accountable for their actions and put down the guns.
“People shouldn’t have to be afraid to go to the gas station, to go to the grocery store, to even come outside their house,” Gotti said. “We gotta come together and stop this. It ain’t go be on the council, the police director, the mayor. It’s gone take us as a village to stand up for these kids. Somebody gotta stand up.”
“This is not nothing to look at as a joke. It’s not funny or nothing,” Parker said. “This is a child’s life, and this is a child I won’t see no more.”
If you know anything about this shooting, call Crime Stoppers at (901) 528-CASH.