MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Police are investigating after two people were killed in two separate shootings in North Memphis.

John Ballentine, who lives in the area, feels this city is dealing with an uphill battle concerning crime. 

“It’s just we got to do a whole lot better,” he said.

To understand why he feels this way, you only have to go back a few hours when police say a man was shot and killed near the same route Ballentine often takes at I-240 and Jackson Avenue. 

The Marine veteran said the streets of Memphis are comparable to the war zone he lived through.

“It is, because I am taking a chance wearing my jewelry on my bicycle. You know what I’m saying,” Ballentine said.

What we don’t know is who is responsible for this deadly street shooting. What’s also a mystery is the motive behind another attack hours earlier. Less than three miles from the Jackson shooting, police saturated the area along Tunica Street just off Chelsea Avenue. 

Things are still foggy on who is responsible for this attack as well, but what is clear, Ballentine tells us, is compassion for others could be the cure needed. He says kind words coupled with kind deeds may be part of the solution in order to stop crime, which continues to plague our community.

“The thing my grandmother always taught me is if you tell someone ‘have a blessed day’ when they don’t even expect it that might just brighten up their day,” he said. “If you don’t respect God or your elders, then you are not going to go in the right path.”

He is still optimistic there will be a sudden shift in order to get things back on track. 

If you can help police with either case, call CrimeStoppers at 901-528-CASH.