MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis Police Chief, Cerelyn “CJ” Davis, discusses the rise in murder and homicide rates in the Bluff City and says the uptick is alarming.

Chief Davis says she is calling on the community to help make a difference.

Larry Thorn, a 27-year-old beloved Memphis Shelby County Schools secretary is just one of the people lost to crime in Memphis this year. His family still bears the pain.

“It hurts me so bad because I wasn’t there to help him in his time of need,” said Lavonda Henderson, his mother.

With more than 200 more families carrying this same pain, the number of murders and homicides in Memphis are higher than this time last year

“It is unprecedented for us to see the number of homicides in our city,” Chief Davis said. “But we’re seeing far too many instances of gun violence being the means of resolving conflict in our city.”

She says the reasons behind the violence vary from domestic violence, people going through a mental crisis, gang-related and other issues.

📧 Sign up for WREG newsletters and have the latest top stories sent right to your inbox.

📲 Download the WREG App today and stay up to date with breaking news and weather.

📡 See more breaking news, local news and weather from for Memphis and the Mid South.

“The increase in the murder rate is horrendous and I’m worried that it’s going to continue,” said David Wayne Brown, Executive Director of Crime Stoppers. “Sometimes it’s that one call from a community member to say, ‘I saw a piece of the tag number. Or I believe it’s an individual in my community.’ Those tips help us to move in the right direction.”

To help families like Thorn’s, who are still waiting for justice, they’re calling for the community’s help. 

“Every one of these murders is a family member and there are families out there that I talk to a lot who are devastated by what’s going on,” Brown said.