A Memphis family is grieving, after a 12-year-old girl who was supposed to be on her way to summer camp was accidentally shot and killed in Frayser.
It happened at 8:00 a.m. Monday. In the 3100 block of Madewell, in the Greenbriar Apartments. The girl died hours later at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital.
The girl’s mother, Katrena Blackshire, 33, has been charged with aggravated child abuse and criminally negligent homicide. The girl’s 13-year-old brother, who was in the car with her, was also charged with Reckless Homicide in this case.
The child’s death resonated across Memphis from her family’s home to those who mentored her at the Neighborhood Christian Center.
“Shocked and saddened,” Ephie Johnson said.
“It’s always disheartening,” Col. Sam Hines of Memphis Police Department said.
According to the child’s godmother, she waited in the car with at least one older sibling, where a bus was supposed to take her to summer camp. But before she got on the bus, neighbors said there was some kind of tussle and the gun went off inside the car.
“People feel like it’s not going to happen to me, (like it’s) an isolated situation that’s not going to happen to me,” Col. Hines said.
Col. Hines felt the same frustration with the latest shooting as the many others before it.
According to Local 24 records, the city of Memphis dealt with 22 accidental shootings of minors in 2017. Seven children in the Mid-South were shot between last August and November alone, including four who died.
“If each household takes it serious and secures their weapon, then I think we can eliminate this problem,” Col. Hines said.
That’s why Memphis Police leaders again reminded the public of free gun locks, available at every MPD precinct and nearly every community center.
MPD leaders said Tuesday morning’s shooting is under investigation and it remains unclear who pulled the trigger inside the car.