MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A Memphis man said he saw something that struck his eye and he knew he had to take action.
Jonathan Williamson was at a corner store on South Third Street on April 12 when he came across a 10-year-old boy with a BB gun on his hip.
"He was coming out the store right here and I noticed him," Williamson said. "I was sitting in my car."
Williamson said the gun fell from the boy's hip, and that's when he first noticed the gun. He said he knew he had to do something.
"I just wanted him to know that's not the right road," Williamson said. "There are other routes than putting a fake gun on your hip and smoking some weed at 10."
The boy told Williamson he had the gun because someone gave it to him for protection.
Williamson said he paid the kid $50 and bought the gun from him. He then disposed of the gun, saying he didn't want kids out on the streets with guns. He then posted about what happened on social media.
He said he wants the youth to know that carrying guns - real or fake - is not the way to go, especially when he says officer-involved shootings and racial tensions are high nationwide.
For the past few years, MPD has been taking a stand to take guns off the streets. Last year, police took 538 guns off the streets during two buyback programs.
It's also personal for Williamson, who admits he's been arrested before for carrying guns unlawfully. He's turned his life around, now has a gun carry permit, and wants kids to make better choices.
"It just touched me as soon as I saw him," Williamson said. "I had to do something. All he need is love."
Williamson said he's starting a nonprofit called Feather and Etc. to give kids something more positive to do.
He said he also gave that 10-year old boy his number and told him to call him anytime he needs to talk.