MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A family calls for change after a 16-year-old boy was gunned down during a funeral procession in North Memphis Saturday night.
Family members have identified the victim as Emmit Beasley, a student at Southwind High School and an up and coming rapper known as PSO Emmit.
His father Titus Beasley says his son was just trying to enjoy himself.
“My son was a baby just trying to enjoy himself, being himself, just a baby, that’s it. That’s all he was doing was just enjoying himself,” he said.
Memphis is already on pace to surpass last year’s murder total. It’s a statistic that likely will continue to climb.
This year, at least 225 people have been murdered in the city of Memphis. That’s two more than this time last year.
Over 10 percent of the victims were children. Area hospitals have also seen an increase in treating youth with gunshot injuries. They are trends that city leaders like Memphis Police Chief CJ Davis are not proud of.
“Gun crimes and violent crime is at the very highest priority of the Memphis police department,” said Chief Davis.
Data from Memphis Police shows that they have arrested more than 3,000 people for illegally having a firearm and seized nearly 4,000 weapons. Despite these proactive measures, Chief Davis says everyone has to commit to addressing crime.
“It’s gonna take more than just the police department arresting individuals, it’s gonna take the system to work for aspect and the also give individuals an opportunity, who came back in the community, some other alternatives,” she said.
Beasley’s mother Chasity Graham wants justice for her son and says it’s time to put the guns down.
“This was a senseless murder. It’s time to put the guns down. I want justice for my son. It’s justice for PSO Emmit. His life will not be in vain,” she said.
At this time WREG is still working to learn the condition of the other person shot.
The suspects were seen in a black jeep and remain on the run tonight.
If you have any information, give crimestoppers a call at 901-528-CASH.