NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) – News4 is digging deeper about why Nashville has experienced so much violence lately.
“How can we reverse the trend that's occurring right now?” Metro Council Member Kyonzte Toombs said.
Toombs has lived in Nashville for her entire adult life. The city's most recent murder happened in her council district when an innocent woman was shot and killed while sitting at a red light.
Another senseless act of violence in Nashville kills an innocent woman. A family is grieving after stray bullets from a shootout hit and killed Shirley Crawley.
"For her life to be taken from her, I mean it's such a tragedy,” Toombs said.
Shirley Crawley's murder was the eighth in the month of June in Nashville.
So far this year, 57 people have been killed in the city. That's up more than 50 percent from this time last year, when there were 38 murders.
"I think partially what we're seeing here is a national trend,” Professor Jonathan Metzl with Vanderbilt University said.
Metzl studies gun violence, and says the spike might be happening for a couple of reasons.
"There are many, many more guns floating around in circulation. Some of those guns are staying in people's homes for self-protection and some of those guns are flooding out into the streets,” Metzl said.
Metzl also said the pandemic has been a violence multiplier.
"People are speeding more. People are using their seat belts less. There are more confrontations,” Metzl said.
It's a complex issue that won't come with an easy answer. For Council Member Toombs, it's about working together to come up with that solution.
“The answer has to come from the community,” Toombs said.
News4 also reached out to the mayor's office about this troubling trend. They said the mayor is aware and concerned.
They also told News4 Mayor Cooper and his team are in regular contact with Chief John Drake and MNPD.