Powerful lessons learned from former gang members

A powerfull lesson in gang life from a former gang member...
It's hard for the families at this Frayser church to miss the message when it comes from a man in a wheelchair.

Merbyn Peters, former gang member, says, "I've been in this wheelchair 18 years.  You do a lot of thing thinking when you're laying on your back.  A lot of thinking."

Merbyn Peters and Ron Baldridge now share their thoughts with teens hoping to curb to the violence that nearly killed them.

Peters continues, "I done saw killing, I done saw robberies, I done saw gang shootings, beatings.  It's not all what it's cracked up to be though."

Spreading that message in Memphis is critical. 
An Action News Five investigation found at least eight known gangs...15-thousand gang members...in the city alone. 
MPD says those gangs are responsible for at least 377 crimes so far this year.
We crime tracked a half mile radius around the church and found 10 larcenies, eight burglaries and 4 aggravated assaults within the last month.
Within a one mile, we found 15 larcenies, 13 burglaries and 5 aggravated assaults.
And MPD tells us the suspects are getting younger.

Parent Tamika Johnson says, "I pray that, you know, everything comes together and everything will be a change because they are our future."

A future these former gang members almost missed.