Doctors: 32 children treated for gunshot wounds in Memphis this year

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Another teen was shot over the weekend, one of dozens this year, just as the community was taking a stand against violence during an event in the city.

Hundreds of people came out Saturday morning for a unity walk in Frayser, pushing to end the gun violence taking over the city.

“We are tired of bullets flying and people dying in Memphis,” Interim Police Director Mike Ryall said during the event.

Despite those pleas to put the guns down, the very next morning, neighbors were dodging bullets in the Highland Heights neighborhood. Police say one person was killed and another injured on Pope Street. 

Then, a few hours later, a teen was shot near Chelsea Avenue. Witnesses say a car sped into a gas station with the girl inside. The girl is one of 10 children to be treated at Le Bonheur so far this month for a gunshot wound.

“Unfortunately we’ve had so many gun shot wounds lately that the staff is getting used to it and I hate to say that,” said Dr. Regan Williams, the hospital’s Trauma Medical Director.

The teen survived her injuries but doctors say it points to some alarming numbers. In January, a child came in with a gunshot wound nearly every other day.

So far this year 32 children have been treated for a gunshot wound, according to Le Bonheur. In 2020, a total of 134 children were treated for gunshots.

“I’m pretty frightened about May, June, July, because that’s when we have a lot more injuries anyway and I think that we’re going to see an increase on top of the increase we already have,” Regan said.

Doctors, law enforcement and community leaders all hope the message to stop gun violence spreads beyond the end of these walks and marches and into homes and neighborhoods.

Police have not released suspect information so call Crimestoppers at 901-528-CASH if you can help.

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