Man found shot, killed in empty South Memphis lot

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Police are investigating a homicide after a man was found dead Sunday morning.

Police were called to the corner of East Waldorf Avenue and Pillow Street at 11:45 a.m. where they found a man who was shot and pronounced dead.

Neighbors say a body found on an empty lot on Pillow Street was that of a young man, around 18 years old. Witnesses said officers told them the man's body may have been laying there all night after he was shot.

"That's awful," Selma Jennings said. That's terrifying."

The gruesome crime has left this neighborhood unnerved.

"As a father, I can't even fathom my son lying down somewhere face down in the cold ground," Carl Swift said.

Carl Swift has been the pastor of Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church for nearly 20 years. Sunday was the first time his benediction was interrupted by a police investigation.

"The membership was somewhat shaken," Swift said. "And our thoughts were, this is someone's child."

But through all the fear of having police at their church's front door, Pastor Swift reached out a helping hand and gave his card to an officer. He offered to help the victim's family whenever they're contacted.

"If they need help or need support in some kind of way and we're able to offer that, then we are willing to do that," Pastor Swift said.

With violence in Memphis the way it is now, some people say: "It's everywhere," Alonzo Ward said.

And most everyone has a different idea of how it can be stopped.

"Get us some jobs man, then a lot of this violence wouldn't occur," Mario Jones said. "Only thing we need is some help."

"We cannot run away from the problem," Pastor Swift said. "We got to keep preaching, we got to keep teaching, we got to keep motivating, keep inspiring people."

"I wish I had an answer for it, and I don't," Jennings said of the violence. "But I think the answer lay in the fact that we need to do better in far as guiding our children to and teaching them how to care and respect one another. We need to go back to the basics."

Memphis police have not identified the man whose body was found here.

So far Memphis police haven't arrested anyone in connection with this homicide. Police say there isn't any suspect information at this time.

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