Heartbroken mother, others push for changes to put an end to ongoing deadly gunfire in Shreveport
“... We’re losing our young men, and it’s just so hurtful”
SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — Tina Lewis lost her son to gun violence in 2017.
He was 27.
The Caddo coroner’s office says 28.5 years old is the average age of the 40 people claimed by gunfire this year in the parish. Most of those 40 are young Black males.
“We need to start with them at a young age, catch them before the streets get them,” Lewis said. “Once the street gets them, they’re gone; it is over with.”
Now she advocates through the Save Our Sons Drop the Guns.
“It’s heartbreaking because we’re losing our young men, and it’s just so hurtful,” Lewis said. “And I know what these parents are going through. And like my son, he left a daughter behind, and that affects her.”
Phyllus Lewis is a parent and part of the Shreveport police force.
“My daughter is 27, and she did not live here when they were growing up,” she said. “And I been on the police force for 31 years. And when they were growing up, Shreveport wasn’t an option.”
Last year, Shreveport alone recorded 76 homicides.
As of June 2, gunfire already had claimed the lives of 40 people ages 5 to 57 this year in Caddo, the coroner’s office reports. All but one of those occurred in Shreveport.
Those facts are among data shared Wednesday, June 2 by the coroner’s office.
That information includes each person’s name, their ethnicity/race and gender.
It shows that of the 40 victims, four are female.
“Ninety-two percent of the number to date are Black, 85% are Black men, 100% of those killed were by guns,” KSLA legal expert Jay Florence said.
“We can say those numbers are horrific, they’re terrible. But they are warning signs,” he continued. “It all boils down to having those tough conversations with young men at an early age.
“I think if we can have better mentors, real mentors in the community who are telling these kids there is a different way to go, a better way to go, I think we can have some solutions to these gun problems,” Florence suggested.
Below is the spreadsheet as released by the coroner’s office:
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