MEMPHIS, Tenn. — WHBQ-TV in Memphis, Tennessee, spoke with experts about what seems to be a growing list of children killed by unsecured weapons.
A teen who hasn’t been identified by police shot and killed 16-year-old Jordan Milan on Sunday.
WHBQ spoke with Sandy Bromley, the director of the Shelby County Crime Victims and Rape Crisis Center. Bromley told WHBQ that the organization offers therapy for people who experience gun violence and trauma in cases like this. She said she sees the impact these shootings have on family members.
"It can be difficult because it is a compound trauma. Not only did I lose a loved one, but now I am dealing with the ramifications of that. That can be really difficult for the entire family to process – that maybe it wasn’t quite intentional but there is still a loss of life,” Bromley said.
On Feb. 16 an 11-year-old boy was shot by his 13-year-old brother in Whitehaven, according to Memphis police.
In that case, police charged the boy and his cousin, 24-year-old Rashad Thompson. Police say Thompson didn’t secure his weapon safely.
In Sunday’s shooting, though, it is unclear right now where the 17-year-old got the gun. He has been charged with reckless homicide. Police said the 17-year-old’s parents told police what happened.
“Keeping your gun locked and teaching your kids not to touch the weapon, instead of assuming they won’t find it. Actually, talking about it and talking about gun safety. Sometimes those basics are what we need to go back to,” Bromley said.
Bromley said the basics start with taking accountability for what your kids are watching on TV, online and gaming.
“Video games and the media we see guns often that they’re normal. They are normalized in kids’ lives, so they may not take them seriously and realize how lethal they are,” she said.
WHBQ also spoke to people who live in the neighborhood where the 16-year-old was shot and killed.
Amanda Richmond, who has kids of her own, said she is still grappling with what happened.
"They don’t understand the power behind most of those guns and sometimes once that gun is shot and it hits, you can’t come back from that,” she said.
Richmond told WHBQ she works for the judicial system and said Milan’s death hits close to home.
“I work in the courtroom. I see most of these cases every day and it’s sad to know that it is just a couple of doors down,” she said. “It makes me make my kids more aware of what is going on and also let them know that guns are not toys. I talk to them about it. If there is something that you see and you know it is not right. Or even if you are at someone’s house notify someone.”
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