MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis Police director Michael Rallings is asking for anyone with information about the drive-by shooting that killed 12-year-old Ta’shun Hardrick to come forward.
Memphis Steelers Little League coach Chavis Daniels says he is heartbroken by the murder of Hardrick, a kid who had a passion for playing football.
“He used to show up at my practices every day, and I wouldn’t give him . . . He wanted to run the ball, but everybody say they can run the ball. And then I finally gave him a chance and he blossomed,” Daniels said.
Memphis Police say Hardrick was killed in a drive-by shooting on Looney Avenue Wednesday at around 4:00 p.m., which is around the time Daniels says most little league football practices would be taking place. But due to the pandemic, many extracurricular activities have been cancelled.
Daniels believes this may be leading to more crime as children look for other things to do. Others get caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“I understand the circumstances with the pandemic going on, but it’s really nothing to do,” Daniels said.
The University of Memphis Public Safety institute reports during the pandemic months of April through September, gun crimes sharply increased, with more than 4,700 violent incidents reported.
This year, a record-breaking total of 29 children have died violently. Twenty-three of them have been homicides.
Rallings says unfortunately, the biggest problem investigators are having with Hardrick’s case is that no one is stepping forward with information.
“We should be outraged, and it should never be acceptable for our city to lose a child at the hands of some kind of violent act,” Rallings said.
Rallings says he believes Memphians need to start focusing on four areas if we want to curb the rate of violence: guns, gangs, drugs, and domestic violence.
“It’s just senseless because a 12-year-old hasn’t really seen anything,” Daniels said.
If you have any information on Hardrick’s murder, contact Crime Stoppers at 901-528-cash.