Criminology professor says gruesome murders stand out among gangs - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Janice Broach

Criminology professor says gruesome murders stand out among gangs


The massacre on Lester Street left four adults and two children dead and three other children in the hospital.

Dr. Richard Janikowski, a criminology professor at the University of Memphis, says a crime that reaches this level of gruesome violence could be the hallmark of one particular gang.

"Particularly the South American gangs that have show up in the U.S. - MS13," he said.

According to Janikowski, there are Hispanic gangs in Memphis, but MS13 is primarily in the Nashville area.  Janikowski said the fact that someone tried to kill 5 children makes this case stand out as unusual.

"Children, usually at worst, are sort of innocent bystanders that get hit by a stray bullet, which is the problem with street arguments, but they're not usually this kind of a target," he said.

Memphis police have put some family members of the victims in protective custody. Janikowski said it is possible that whoever did this could come after other family members.

Memphis police have no suspects in the massacre, but hope the large reward will bring information that leads to an arrest.

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