MEMPHIS, Tenn. — There have been seven shootings across the city of Memphis since Thursday, and more than one person was shot in some of those incidents. Three people died in the seven shootings, and public health officials say this is now a crisis.
Barry Jones knows four people injured in the 24-hour span. Three of his friends are recovering after they were shot in off Ethel in Orange Mound, and he said his cousin was killed on Kimball earlier in the day.
“I’m just praying,” Jones said. “I feel bad right now because we losing folks. We losing folks. I’m tired of it, really.”
Jones said he does whatever he can to deter violence in the Orange Mound neighborhood.
Experts said that constant sense of loss has long term consequences on communities.
“If we look at individuals, those who witness violence or are victims of violence are more likely to have poor health, the more likely to encounter behavioral health or mental health issues, and for young people it impacts their ability to be educated,” said Alisa Haushalter, director of the Shelby County Health Department.
Haushalter said violence needs to be addressed from a public health perspective, like how Shelby County has tackled the opioid epidemic.
“Violence is a health crisis, yes,” she said. “It is across the United States, but we know in Memphis, particularly in Shelby County-wide, it’s been a historically health crisis here.”
As crime seems to increase in the summer, the City of Memphis has created the Play Your Parks program, a safe place for kids to go in their neighborhood to have free, supervised fun.
But even with the help, Jones knows things must change.
“It’s rough,” he said. “We’re in a struggle right here.”
Arrests have been made in several of the shootings.
Anyone with more information can call Crime Stoppers 901-528-CASH.