Teen shot during anti-gang initiative - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Teen shot during anti-gang initiative

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(WMC-TV) - A teenager shot in the neck outside the North Frayser Community Center is in non-critical condition as police continue to search for the shooting suspect.

The bullet ricocheted off of a wall and hit the 17-year-old man as he stepped outside to make a phone call.

One community leader says the shot was fired in a gang rift that need not have come to a head at the community center.

Joe Hunter operates a non-profit anti-gang initiative called Gang, Inc.

"I feel disrespected, that's how I feel. I'm from the streets and they disrespected me," said Joe Hunter, Gang Inc.

The shooting happened while a gang outreach program was going on inside.

Hunter says he had no idea they were coming to the community center and he feels he could have possibly stopped the violence by offering helpful advice if he had been alerted beforehand.

"Why leave me out? One of my friends put it this way, ‘You got Michael Jordan and you put him on the bench on purpose. Something's wrong with that,'" said Hunter.

The anti-gang initiative is called the 901 Bloc Squad. It is funded by the City of Memphis.

"I mean, if our own children cannot go to a safe haven known as a community center where in the world can we go," said Memphis Mayor A C Wharton.

Mayor Wharton says Hunter and his organization may be part of a solution that requires input from many different angles.

"I know Mr. Hunter real well. There's enough for everybody to do," said Mayor Wharton. "We're gonna work with anybody who has a product or a service that will help us on this. We need all hands on deck."

Hunter says his hands have been firmly on deck for years at the North Frayser Community Center.

Police say at last check the teen remains hospitalized in non-critical condition.

No arrest have been made in the shooting.

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