Memphians React to Violent 4th of July

Memphians React to Violent 4th of July

They came for fireworks and fun, but instead, hundreds left downtown shaken and scared.

MEMPHIS, TN (localmemphis.com) - Memphians are sounding off on last night's Beale Street violence.

They came for fireworks and fun, but instead, hundreds left downtown shaken and scared.

Two men randomly started firing gunshots into the crowd of revelers at Tom Lee Park around nine o'clock Thursday night. A 13-year-old was shot in the leg.

The brazen shootings have Memphians questioning what it is going to take to stop the violence. Witnesses say two young men were walking down the sidewalk when they pulled out guns and started firing.

Witnesses identified 18-year-old Tashun Jenkins as one of the guys who fired the shots.

A Memphis dad saw the whole thing with his family, including his six year old. He was too frightened to talk on camera, but told us the shootings looked random.

"Just families trying to have fun and somebody starts shooting," says Neal Brown, who lives next door to one of the accused shooters.

"That's just how life is in our neighborhood. Somebody tells them to do it. They talk them up to it. They'll do it because they want to fit in."

The shooting happened around 9 o'clock right before downtown's fireworks went off.

There were hundreds of people in Tom Lee Park. A 13-year-old boy was hit in the leg and taken to Le Bonheur Children's Hospital.

"While we were watching firecrackers, people just started running. They were going down there and running up the stairs trying to get away so they won't fight," says eight year old William Carver. He was at the park with his cousins. They saw the shooting's aftermath.

"A lot of running, ripping and screaming," says Tyrus Young.

The frightened kids ran too. "Because it was kind of heading over here a little bit," says Daylan Smith.

Jenkins is charged with aggravated assault. For some, that's not nearly enough considering the danger everyone was in.

"He could have killed somebody," Brown says.

The 13-year-old has been released from the hospital. Jenkins is due in court on Monday.
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