Nearly 100 Louisville youth injured or killed by gunfire this season

2 years ago

On July 21, Louisville mother Candy Linear was sitting on her porch – something she said she rarely does – when she heard gunshots. She did not know at the time that her 16-year-old daughter, Nylah, who was at a relative's house nearby, have been caught inside a drive-by shooting.

Linear rushed to the scene and could be around her daughter as she lay injured, with two of her siblings watching. Nylah was rushed to the University of Louisville Health where she later died.

Linear was one of the speakers Wednesday at an event hosted by UofL Health to honor the nearly 100 kids struck by gunfire over the city this year alone. Of the 97 victims, 24 died – the highest annual toll on record.

\”I never realized just how much gun violence will affect me and my loved ones,\” Linear said. \”I never even thought it could happen to me and my loved ones. But gun violence is real and it literally has destroyed my family.\”

Candy Linear lost her daughter to gun violence in 2022.

In attendance in the memorial event were several children who're members of U of L's Future Healers, a course to help empower youth influenced by gun violence, whether they have been injured, lost a family member or friend, or travel to and from school in fear.

One by one, the kids placed stuffed toys and figurines on the table to honor those who were impacted. They included 11-year-old Alexis Lewis, who had been hit by stray fire while playing in her own house this year.

\”Physical therapy every week, physical rehabilitation every night,\” her mother, Jessica Goins said. \”It's something she's to reside with and all of us do too. It's just something the community needs to come together with and just stop the gun violence.\”

Louisville anti-gun violence activist Christopher 2X helps lead the near future Healers. He explained in all the years addressing the problem in Louisville, \”We've never done something like this, what University of Louisville is doing today-concentrating specifically on juveniles in Louisville 17 years and younger which have been influenced by gunfire.\”

\”There’s never been a year like 2022 as it pertains to kids.\”

Dr. Keith Miller is really a trauma surgeon at University of Louisville Health. He explained they has treated more children for gunshots than in any previous year.

So far, there has been seven more youth killed by gunfire this year than in 2022.

\”I can't say this enough, gun violence is really a public ailment in Louisville. It is a public health crisis,\” he said.

He said this has been a problem locally for some time, but he's seen \”massive increases\” in the last 2 yrs.

\”We've got children within our neighborhoods who fall asleep towards the sound of gunfire, who wake up in the morning and think about how they’re going to get to school safely,\” Miller said.


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