A Memphis mother is out of jail on bond after she and her son appeared in court Wednesday in connection to the shooting death of her daughter and his sister.
Katrena Blackshire is charged with criminally negligent homicide and aggravated child neglect. Her 13-year-old son is also charged with reckless homicide, after a gun went off inside a car in Frayser, killing the 12-year-old girl.
The judge gave Blackshire a $35,000 bond, while her son remains in juvenile custody as the court considers possibly releasing him to his grandmother.
“Right now, she’s where you’d expect her to be for a tragedy,” defense attorney Mike Campbell said.
33-year-old Katrena Blackshire wiped tears and lowered her head after she faced a judge Wednesday morning. She admitted to the judge she didn’t have a handgun permit.
According to the affidavit, Blackshire knowingly left her kids inside a car with a loaded handgun in the center console Tuesday in Frayser. Witnesses told Local 24 they saw 12-year-old Tyteanna James and her 13-year-old brother tussling before the gun went off, but a family spokesperson disputes that.
“One of the family members reached out to me and they emphasized that this was a total accident,” Pastor Ricky Floyd said.
For Pastor Floyd, the shooting death of Tyteanna hit close to home. His church is a few blocks from the shooting and the victim’s uncle, her mother’s brother, is an active member.
“No family deserves this, but this was not a dysfunctional family, this was just a good family that had a bad incident happen to them,” Pastor Floyd said.
In response, Pastor Floyd promised he’d host more free gun locks events at his church. He held a similar event last October, where more than 330 people took advantage.
“Nobody thinks this is going to happen,” Pastor Floyd said. “It’s called an accident for a reason.”
Blackshire’s next court date is set for June 20th.