A bloody Mother’s Day has strengthened the argument for stricter gun laws in Memphis, after 10 people were shot in two separate incidents in the city, Sunday (May 11). Three people were injured in the first of early morning violence.
A man opened fire on a trio of victims at a party, police said. The suspect, Hiep Pham, turned himself in shortly thereafter and has been charged with four counts of aggravated assault.
Pham told police that he was shooting at four people chasing him, and hit three of them. One is in critical condition.
No suspect has been arrested in the second incident. A man shot seven people outside of a nightclub, also leaving on person in critical condition. “We were on the porch when it happened. It was down there,” said 17-year-old witness Shawn Quez Clark. “It sounded like Iraq.”
Gun busts in Memphis are akin to “getting a traffic ticket,” said Delvin Lane of 901 B.L.O.C. (Better Lives, Opportunities, and Communities) Squad, a community outreach team aimed at combating gun violence. He hopes to get to the bottom of the outbreaks. “We just want to love on the guys and see what is going on and ask them, ‘When will it stop?” Lane said. “If you shoot again, and someone else shoots again, it’s never going to stop until everybody is dead.”
Lane, a former gang member, is working with the city’s mayor on ways to decrease gun violence by way of community outreach.