Community remembers 7-year-old killed in drive-by shooting - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Community remembers 7-year-old killed in drive-by shooting

(Photo Source: WMC Action News 5) (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)

Two young girls were killed on Friday as the result of gun violence in Memphis.

Cateria Stokes, 15, died after she was shot while lying in her own bed in the 4000 block of Cottonwood Road.

Later that evening, 7-year-old Kristen Williams was shot just a few houses down from her home in the 2600 block of Durby Circle.

"She always had a smile on her face all the time when you saw her," said Williams' aunt, Jamilla Jamieson.

Neighbors say Williams went home to hang up her backpack, then went down the street to her best friend's house. She was standing just feet from her best friend and her friend's mother when someone drove past and fired shots, hitting Williams.

"Kristen loves animals," said Jamieson. "She loves teddy bears. I want to honor her memory."

Family and friends came together to lay stuffed animals in front of the young child's home.

As neighbors sat near the driveway where the young girl was hit, they reminisced about the wonderful person she was.

"When you kill a child, you take another human being's life," said a family member of Williams' friend. "I know you can't think because you're on something, but don't go around to retaliate spraying the cut, killing these innocent babies. They didn't have a chance at life."

Police do not have any suspects at this time.

"It was her main focus to be a dancer," said Jamieson. "Now she can't do that."

Family and friends say enough is enough after the two girls were killed just three miles apart.

"We can't even go outside because of the violence," said Williams' friend, Chaniah Corppetts. "All I gotta say is, we need to stop."

Mayor Wharton is astounded by the events in his city. 

"The folks who did this are like a cancer," Wharton said. "If you don't catch it and cut it out, it will spread. We're going to catch them. We're going to cut them out so they can't spread."

The shooting has shaken up the entire neighborhood, and community members say it has left a hole that cannot be filled. Meanwhile, they are keeping Kristen and Cateria in their prayers.

"She's going to be right here," Jamieson added.

Mayor A C Wharton also released the following statement Saturday afternoon:

"The shooting death of two innocent children is a heart crushing tragedy for the families involved and for this entire City. My heart goes out to these families as they come to grips with the senseless killing of their precious little ones. I just can't imagine it and I am praying for them as I hope we all will do. I have made attempts to reach the families and will continue to do so to share my personal condolences and support. My sadness and empathy for the families, however, is matched by my anger. These young innocent souls were not hanging out with the wrong crowd. They were not out late at night past a curfew their parents gave them. The 15 year old was sleep in her home and the 7 year old was playing in her front yard.

Usually at times like these we will hear a renewed cry for tougher gun laws. And while politically these pleas for gun control may be to no avail in the short term, in these horrible instances the collective call should actually be for thug control.

For that reason, we are working with Director Armstrong and the District Attorney General's Office to ensure that we do everything possible to enforce to the maximum those laws already on the books that call for high bail and stiff penalties for these shameful personalities who seek to bring terror and mayhem to our communities.

Lastly, I want to say that there ought not be a place in this city and community where these perpetrators can hide. Anyone who calls this city home should be just as outraged and just as interested in seeing justice served. Whether the guilty parties are a part of your family member or someone from your neighborhood, you know in your heart that you must share what you know with the police.

This cannot stand. And with the work of MPD and with your help, it will not."

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