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Suspect accused of shooting 15-year-old in both legs, firing at deputies

Published: Oct. 19, 2021 at 9:25 AM CDT
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SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. (WMC) - A 15-year-old is in the hospital after being shot in both legs Monday night in Shelby County and the suspect is on the run.

Shelby County Sheriff’s Office says 23-year-old Aerian Hunter just broke up with his girlfriend before firing several shots at her family, striking a 15-year-old on the scene. It happened around 11 p.m. on Bradfield Run.

According to an incident report, the couple had an altercation at a Kroger on Riverdale and Shelby Drive and Hunter’s ex-girlfriend asked police to escort her home.

After talking with her, deputies escorted the family home after advising them not to return home that night due to Hunter’s knowledge of their address. The report says just four minutes after deputies left detectives with the MultiAgency Unit Task Force heard several gunshots in the area.

One of the bullets went through one of the 15-year-old victim’s legs and become lodged in the other.

Deputies were able to track down Hunter’s vehicle as he fled the scene but lost him after he fired a shot and hit a deputy’s vehicle disabling it, according to SCSO.

Investigators say he was driving a black Infiniti GAW.

A warrant for his arrest has been issued. He’s facing charges of attempted first-degree murder, evading arrest and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

The victim is but another addition to the list of children who have fallen victim to violent crime in the Bluff City.

In 2020, there were 38 children who were homicide victims, and with where we are in 2021, that number is looking to stay consistent.

Newly implemented crime prevention tactics are giving hope to community partners and local activists, but the fight isn’t over yet.

For Stevie Moore, founder and president of Freedom From Unnecessary Negatives, it starts with neighbors connecting with law enforcement.

“Everybody’s locking up in their houses until that bullet comes to your door, and then there you go. I know somebody knows something. Somebody had to see something. When it happens to your neighbor, you didn’t see anything,” Moore said.

“A huge percentage of both perpetrators and victims in this community are in their 20s,” said Bill Gibbons, president of Memphis Shelby Crime Commission. “In addition to that, a disturbing number of victims are children, children like the 15-year-old who was shot on Bradfield Run in Southeastern Shelby County Monday night, after a couple in their 20s broke up.”

Gibbons said the city and county have implemented several programs that have proven to work in other cities to reduce violent crimes like this, for example, Memphis’s Group Violence Intervention Program, and the D.A.’s Office’s Focused Deterrence effort.

“Our challenge is to get those things not only implemented but scaled up so they’re at a level that can really make a difference,” he said.

For Moore, he’s floating the idea of holding a joint neighborhood rally at the start of the new year to promote more community involvement in fighting crime.

“How powerful would it be if we would come together and say, hey, we are watching. If you do something again, we’re going to tell it,” Moore said.

Gibbons said he knows these programs work, but like many things, they require funding and hopes the city and county will further prioritize these efforts to prevent another juvenile from ending up in the hospital or worse.

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