FOX13 Gets Real: Working to stop gangs and youth violence

MEMPHIS,Tenn. — FOX13 saw the multi-agency gang unit show up in a Raleigh neighborhood after a teen shot at a home on Twin Lakes Drive was taken to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital Thursday morning.

RELATED: Teen taken to Le Bonheur after shooting at Raleigh home, police say

Police sources told FOX13 it’s possible the shooting could have been gang-related.

FOX13 spoke with an ex-gang member who’s combatting youth violence. Durell Cowan walked the streets and neighborhoods in Raleigh, showing teens that there is a better way to life than gangs and gun violence.

“The gang problem in Memphis is totally different than anywhere else,” said Cowan.

He started his nonprofit called Heal 901 to help current gang members turn their lives around.

“The reason I chose the name Heal 901 because we can’t keep putting band-aids on top of gunshot wounds to effectively fix what’s going on in the city of Memphis is just like dealing with a gunshot wound.”

Cowan works across the city to reach teens in their neighborhoods. Cowan also works closely with two programs called Coaching Young Boys into Men and Athletes as Leaders.

”The reason I work with athletes, if I can change the mindset of the athletes who are the leaders in the school, leaders in the community, leaders in their home, just like the coronavirus infectiously affected the world, this good could infectiously affect Memphis,” he said.

Cowan also works very closely with an organization out of California where they do gang invention. They show up at the scenes and hospitals.

Another community activist is showing young men that violence is not the answer.

Stevie Moore is fighting crime by going into communities and encouraging teens to put down the guns.

Stevie Moore founded Freedom from Unnecessary Negatives after losing his own son to gun violence.

He went door to door this week talking to neighbors about gun violence and the young lives we’ve lost. Moore believes that if he shows up in their neighborhood, children will be less likely to commit crimes.

Moore placed ‘Stop the Violence Signs’ and spoke one on one with teens to show them there is a better way than crime.

“Like when my child got killed, they wanted me to have a closed casket. I said no this is not TV, he’s dead,” he said.

”Hearing his son passed away like that is tragic,” said Hamilton High School student Carlton Hubbert. “Life is too short to be killing each other, folks taking innocent lives which is not right, you can do stuff without using violence.”

Another reason Moore went to South Memphis is because that is where a community walk will take place to bring awareness about gun violence.

It’s Saturday, June 12 at 9 a.m. starting at Hamilton High School.