NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Community leaders say "something has to change" after two students killed in a shooting on I-24 on Tuesday morning.

A school spokesman said 12-year-old Abdiwahab Adan was a seventh grade student at J.T. Moore Middle and 14-year-old Donquez Abernathy was a ninth grade student at Hillsboro High.

“Our hearts go out to the family, friends, students and staff who are mourning the loss of these two young children to a senseless act of gun violence. Our staff are working with the school communities affected to offer grief counseling and support," Metro Schools said in a statement on Wednesday. 

Adan and Abernathy were killed after a shooting near the Silliman Evans Bridge at mile marker 49 near downtown on Interstate 24 East around 3:15 a.m.

Police said a 14-year-old female and an unidentified 16-year-old male passenger were shot in a stolen pickup truck. Police added the 16-year-old male passenger is the suspected shooter.

Ron Johnson has been working with troubled teens for years and said he was heartbroken when he heard the news.

"It made me feel so many emotions because it took me back to remembering all the young people that I've had to bury," Johnson said.

Johnson said parents need to be dealing with their own mental health issues.

He said they also need to look for warning signs like kids acting out or showing violent tendencies.

"There's a time where you can identify these types of behaviors and, if you intervene, then we may be able to head some of those things off," said Johnson.

Youth violent crime is actually down significantly across Nashville. The one crime that is up is car theft.

Juvenile Court Judge Sheila Calloway said those cars are usually unlocked. They often have the keys and guns inside.

"It just leads to, unfortunately, a lot of times very bad consequences," Calloway said. It's why she and others are calling on the adults to step up.

"We can't wake up to the news that we've lost another child to some senselessness, and we have to really dig deep and do better for all of our youth in all of our communities," said Calloway.

Officers said that truck was reported stolen from Cain Harbor Drive on November 19. Police said the keys were in the truck. 

At last check 665 guns had been stolen from cars in Nashville this year. There were24 guns stolen from cars just last week.

Homicide detectives continue to investigate the chain of events surrounding the deadly shooting. 

 

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