That’s the number of kids under 17 shot in Nashville so far this year.

“It's just something that will be with me forever,” Talia Monjet Simmons said. Her 17-year-old son was shot and killed six years ago at a sweet 16 birthday party. “I never thought at 17 I would have to bury my son.”

Teens falling victim to gun violence has been a consistent narrative in Nashville’s recent history. So consistent in fact that the number of kids under 17 shot year-to-date in 2017 is the same as this year: 42.

“I look forward to the day we can celebrate absolutely zero victim of juvenile crime,” Judge Sheila Calloway said. “We also have to work together as a community to make access to guns much harder for our youth.”

Metro police’s Juvenile Crime Task Force alone has picked up 163 guns off the streets since February.

“You can get a group of youth that are engaged in positive activities and less likely to become victims of crime or offenders,” Calloway said, a sentiment echoed by a community of mothers who lost their children to soon.

“It's something that we're missing in society,” Simmons said. “As a community, we need to do better.”

Since it was put together in February, the Juvenile Crime Task Force has also arrested 271 adults, 214, recovered 163 guns and 130 stolen vehicles.

Copyright 2018 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


Rebecca Cardenas is a Murrow-award winning journalist who joined News4 as a reporter in September 2017. She currently covers the court systems in Middle Tennessee.

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