Memphis family calls on elected officials to curb violence after teen killed at car wash

Published: Aug. 3, 2021 at 11:06 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - It’s been a deadly summer in the city of Memphis.

Investigators are releasing few details about the latest victim of gun violence.

Family and friends of the victim say they are looking for city leaders, from the police director to the city and county mayors, to step up to help curb the uptick in violent crimes.

A large crowd gathered to see what happened at a car wash on North Hollywood Tuesday afternoon.

Family members say the shooting victim was 17-year-old Braylon Murray, an aspiring rapper and the grandson of a well-known and outspoken activist in this city.

“I’m not saying this just because it’s Braylon, my grandson. I’ve been saying it for 20 something years, that we’ve got to do something,” said Sarah Carpenter.

Carpenter is with the group, Memphis Lift, a grassroots organization of parents pushing for a seat at the table in Shelby County Schools.

Now, Carpenter is pushing for elected officials to step up to the plate about the increased violence in the city.

“All of them sitting down there don’t know what the hell going on in our neighborhood,” said Carpenter. “Do they really care, I wonder.”

Shelby County commissioners Van Turner and Tami Sawyer came to the scene to offer support. Just hours before this shooting, Mayor Jim Strickland shared how the city planned to spend half of the millions of dollars from the COVID-19 relief bill passed by Congress earlier this year.

$4.8 million will go toward the mayor’s Group Violence Intervention Program. The program focuses on those most likely to commit violence. The city also wants to spend $6 million on crime-fighting technology, such as installing more shot spotter surveillance systems and $9 million for after-school programs.

However, this community along with Murray’s aunt want to make sure those funds end up in the neighborhoods that need it most before the next young person loses their life.

“I have a son and I’m not going to wait until it happens to mine to do something,” said Murray’s aunt, Natoria Carpenter. “So, it’s time out for crying. It’s time out for marching and candlelight. It’s time to do something.”

If you have any additional information in this case, you’re asked to call Crime Stoppers at 901-528-CASH.

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