MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Two Memphis teens were shot just days apart. It’s a story that has become all too familiar to the people who live in the Mid-South.
Stevie Moore is the founder of Freedom From Unnecessary Negatives, also known as F.F.U.N. He started it after his own son was gunned down 20 years ago. Now, he’s still fighting for change.
“Why aren’t we out there saying enough is enough? We can come together and say our kids need to stop dying! We need our community to come together and say enough is enough,” Moore said. “All I see going on now in this community is the blame game. ‘The police ain’t doing what they ought to do. The District Attorney’s office ain’t doing what they ought to do.’ Everybody is blaming everybody.”
The number of shooting incidents involving children in Memphis wasn’t immediately available by Memphis Police, but WREG has reported on dozens throughout the year.
The latest happened Friday night at the Sonic on Kirby Parkway in Hickory Hill. Surveillance video obtained by WREG shows a 17-year-old victim stumble into the parking lot, as a group of teens run off. He later died at the hospital.
Just last week, a 15-year-old was shot while selling water on the street in Whitehaven. His mother told WREG he did this to make money, because, at 15, he is too young to have a job. He is still recovering from his injuries.
Moore believes some of this violence is preventable.
“When I was coming up, the lady across the street said, ‘Boy, I’m gonna tell your momma, I’m gonna tell your daddy.’ It was the whole neighborhood watching. Now your house can get shot up next door and nobody sees nothing,” Moore said.
He is calling on the community to look out and speak up if they know something. He says he believes this is the only way we can address the crime issue.
“Law enforcement can’t be out on every corner. But we can, the community can,” Moore said.
Moore has set up an anonymous tipline for people who are uncomfortable calling the police. That number is 901-417-7361.
A spokesperson for Sonic told WREG that the restaurant is aware of the incident and that the franchisee is cooperating with authorities during the investigation.