LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Violence on the streets of Louisville is spiraling out of control. It's time WAVE Country says, "enough is enough."
Gun violence is nothing new in Louisville Metro. But, the rate at which people are dying and how young they are dying, is something that cannot be ignored.
"Do not make any choices today that will forever impact tomorrow, because if you just live long enough, things can really change." That is the message from Sadiqua Reynolds, President of the Louisville Urban League.
Six days into 2016, Louisville saw its first homicide of the year. A 38-year-old father named Markie Morgan was shot to death in Valley Station.
"Babies are being left behind in this world with missing parents, a missing father, mother, brother," Thelma Edwards, a relative of Morgan said. "It's got to stop!"
But, it hasn't stopped. Eight months later, the murder cases and vigils for victims are piling up with the shell casings.
The city hit 77 homicides on August 27th. That's close to surpassing the murder total from all of 2015.
Ten of the victims are young teens, including 14-year-old Troyvonte Hurt who was shot and killed in Smoketown in August. The person arrested and charged with his murder is just 16 years old. Police said he was a friend of Hurt who was returning fire during a drive-by.
"Words just can't express how I feel right now," Hurt's father Troy, Sr. said days after his son's murder. "Shouldn't no parent have to bury their 14-year-old son."
It's not just murders that are on the rise. LMPD crime stats show violent crime, robbery, aggravated assault and shootings are all well above 2015 numbers.
But, it's the ones who will never make it back that are changing the face of Louisville forever. And now, the real challenge is figuring out what to do next.
On Wednesday, WAVE 3 News teamed up with the following people for our Taking Back Your Streets special report:
Mayor Greg Fischer Louisville Mayor
Steve Conrad Louisville Metro Police Chief
Krystal Goodner On-Air Radio Personality at Praise Power 1350 WLOU
Dr. Steven Kelsey Spirit Filled New Life Church Ministries and former Louisville Metro Police Officer
Tropikana On-Air Radio Personality at B 96.5
D'Shawn Johnson Executive Director of The First Tee, which provides positive youth development through the game of golf, and former Louisville Metro Police Officer
David James Louisville Metro Councilman
Rashaad Abdur-Rahman Director of Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods in the Office of Mayor Greg Fischer