Chattanooga's Mayor Andy Berke said the police department is actively using every resource to find who's responsible for the unspeakable shooting death of a 13-year-old boy.
The quick response isn't just coming from the mayor tonight, but the citizens of Chattanooga who are reacting to the violence that claimed a young life.
Mayor Berke said this shooting resonates with him because he too has a 13-year-old daughter.The mayor added police have put every resource into finding the people responsible for this shooting.And he says the cycle of violence must stop. Berke said, "For me, I have a 13-year-old daughter. All of us try to understand what that family must be going through. And I know for all of us to redouble our efforts to say we cannot let this happen."
Meanwhile, Corey Scott dropped in for an afternoon haircut and beard trim at Barber King's on MLK Boulevard. Both Scott and his master barber Terence Bragg are thinking about the Monday night shooting death of 13-year-old Deontrey Southers.
Scott said, "My heart goes out to his family and may the Lord be with them."
Southers was inside the home at 1501 E. 50th Street when shots were fired from the outside. He was hit.
Police aren't publicly calling this shooting gang-related, but it also hasn't been ruled out.Mayor Berke views the shooting as a call to action. "Ultimately we have to change the cycle so that you don't see, based on respect, people just shooting at me because I shot at you and the cycle just continues on and on. And the retaliation never stops. We've got to break that cycle," Berke said.
And today Souther's family spent the day making funeral arrangements.
An 8th grader dead -- dead before a prom, before a car, before a part-time job.And that is something that bothers Scott as he sits in the barber's chair for the final touches. "We've been children before but now it's their time. It's up to us as adults to teach them and guide them into being the proper people that they need to be," Scott said.
Master barber Bragg is also thinking about this tragedy. He said it's time for Chattanooga, all of it, to start caring about its children. Bragg said, "It's one thing to talk about it. It's one thing to march about it and hold signs and all this kind of thing and protest. But, it's time for action. We have to really start caraing about these young people and get involved in their lives."
Funeral arrangements have been made for Southers. His funeral is Monday at 11 a.m. at the John P. Franklin Funeral Home at 1101 Dodds Avenue. Visitation is in the chapel Sunday from 12:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.by John Madewell