MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A Memphis community shocked by the shooting death of a child this week, received an outpouring of support on Wednesday.
Westwood in South Memphis has the sad distinction of being the place where the City of Memphis recorded its record homicide count.
A 12-year-old child was the 229th homicide of the year. The old record was 228 homicides in 2016.
A line formed quickly outside the Levi Landing apartments Wednesday afternoon. Tables set up just outside the entrance to the apartment complex were piled high with free food, drinks and toiletries.
“It means a lot,” neighbor Lasonya Moore told WMC Action News 5. “It lets you know that people actually care.”
Larry Hunter, the Director of Touched by An Angel Ministry, knew this neighborhood needed his help.
“When I heard about what had happened,” he said. “I was urged and committed to coming over here to try and make a difference.”
On Monday, Memphis Police said a 12-year-old was killed in a double shooting in the 700 block of Crillion.
“And I knew the people over here were hurting," said Hunter. "They were crying. They were in pain.”
So Hunter staged a demonstration of what he calls “Love and Peace” with this giveaway.
He said he’d like to see churches get more involved with young people at risk. Lasonya Moore agrees.
“Everybody just needs to come together,” she said. “We need more mentors for young boys and for young ladies. We need a lot more mentors.”
Memphis police are a visible presence at the apartments with increased patrols. But Hunter said real change must come from the community itself.
“A white person kills a Black person, and you got Black Lives Matter," he said. "They march and they say ‘we don’t want that anymore.’ I haven’t seen Black Lives Matter out here one time. If we stop killing one another, maybe other people will stop killing us.”
An adult woman was injured in the same shooting that killed the 12-year-old child. Memphis police haven’t made any arrests in the case.