MEMPHIS, Tenn.– Four families are searching for answers after a series of shootings across Memphis has left a 16-year-old dead and four other children injured this week.

Helenor Wade is struggling to cope after her 16-year-old cousin Takiyah Nelson was killed after being shot Monday night. Investigators said Detectives say Nelson and her 13-year-old friend were passing around the gun when it fired and struck Nelson in the head.

The 13-year-old girl was charged with reckless homicide.

“It’s hard for anyone to function. It’s hard for anyone not to cry and be around each other. It’s heartbreaking,” Wade said. “The Takiyah I know is fearful of that stuff, she wouldn’t to be around it. I don’t understand it at this point.” 

Nelson is among the oldest of the juvenile victims this week. Thursday morning, another 16-year-old was brought to Regional One in critical condition after being shot. 

Police are still trying to learn more about that incident, but believe it may have happened in the Raleigh area.

All of this comes after another shooting has left two children fighting for their lives in Southwest Memphis Wednesday night. This witness, who chose not to be identified said she knew it was bad, before hearing even more shots. 

“First it was one gunshot, boom,” she said. “Then you heard about 10 other rounds…boom, boom, boom, boom, boom like an automatic.”

Those victims, a 15-year-old boy and a 9-year-old girl, are both in critical condition at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital. The witness said she knew the children and is heartbroken. 

“This is what happens when you’re not properly raising your children,” she said.

As police search for the person responsible for that shooting, a man is behind bars for a fourth shooting this week.

60-year-old Keith Bethany is charged with aggravated assault and theft of property after a 13-year-old boy was shot in the stomach at the Airport Inn on East Brooks Road Wednesday afternoon.

The victim is also recovering at Le Bonheur. 

As these families search for peace, they are telling others to put the guns away, teach their kids to be good humans, and be thankful for every moment they have with them. 

“We won’t be able to buy Christmas gifts. We won’t be able to get her anything for Christmas and do anything with her anymore because she’s no longer here and it’s not fair,” Helenor Wade said.

If you have any information that could help police find any of these suspects, you are urged to call 901-528-CASH.