MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A community activist is calling for justice after a 17-year-old was killed while working at a fast food restaurant. Memphis Police say a 19-year-old and 16-year-old have been charged in his murder.
Asa Tyus says he’s heartbroken after hearing about the shooting death of 17-year-old Contario Sevion. He and other community members are asking, where’s the outrage?
“What are we doing? What are we doing? If this is not an outrage right now, then what is?” Tyus said.
MPD says Sevion was taking out the trash for his job at Five Guys on Ridgeway when someone drove up and opened fire.
Family members say the Melrose High student was going to be a father in a few months.
Police say the shooter was a 16-year-old former co-worker of Sevion’s. The 16-year-old’s brother, 19-year-old Zavon Payne, was also charged in the case.
Tyus said, as a convicted felon himself, he understands personally what may be next for these young men.
“Mama can’t come get you. When they hit that gavel, mama can’t come get you,” he said.
Sevion’s death has captured the hearts of many across the city of Memphis, including local activist Frank Gotti.
“It hurts for real because when you’re out here fighting against these killings and then you see these babies dying, these young boys dying at an early age, it’s like what can you do?”
Gotti says being a father of seven boys, Sevion’s death hits close to home.
“It can be solved if people just open their mouth up, because people know the killers in the streets,” he said.
Gotti says he’s been trying to reach younger generations where they are for quite some time, but he says the City of Memphis needs to take more initiative in underprivileged communities in order to prevent this from happening again.
“You got the funding to do it. Start putting your funding into the communities that need the funding not just downtown, not just Germantown,” he said.
Payne is expected to be in court Friday morning.