6 homicides and 15 shootings in one week in Memphis - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

6 homicides and 15 shootings in one week in Memphis

Bill Gibbons (Source: WMC Action News 5) Bill Gibbons (Source: WMC Action News 5)
Mike Williams (Source: WMC Action News 5) Mike Williams (Source: WMC Action News 5)

Police lights lit up Memphis streets after a particularly violent week. Violence that's taken lives and stopped business.

The doors of the Smart Mart on Overton Crossing in Frayser remain closed Thursday after a clerk was shot twice in the chest Wednesday night. Larry Humphreys is a regular customer.

"That's just totally wrong man, that's all I can say," Humphreys said.

Mike Williams, President of the Police Association said Memphis has seen 15 shootings in the last 4 days. Six of those shootings resulted in homicides. He said there's not enough officers on the streets.

"We've got the equipment, we just don't have the personnel. That's the issue," Williams said.

What's behind the violence? Bill Gibbons, President of the Shelby Crime Commission said it's extremely hard to tell, it could be something like students out on fall break.

"That could be a factor," Gibbons said. "We've had some good weather this week, that could be a factor. There are a lot of different things that could go into that."

We asked to speak with Memphis Police Department Director Mike Rallings on Thursday about the recent violence. We were told he is out of town. We also asked for an interview with Mayor Jim Strickland, his office said he wasn't available Thursday, but they did send us a written statement.

That statement read, in part, "Make no mistake, public safety is my number 1 priority. Our police officers are fighting violent crime every single day in this city -- and they will continue the fight. We're also working hard on other strategies and programming beyond policing."

"What is the plan to be able to deal with this? I would definitely like to know that from the mayor," Williams said.

Gibbons didn't have many specifics on what's happening right now, but he did say his department is working on a plan for the future.

"To develop a new 5-year plan to tackle violence crime in particular," Gibbons said.

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