“They try to tell us we can’t talk about this at the city level because it’s a state governance issue,” said council member Chris Nettles.
FORT WORTH, Texas — He was just starting life. And then a bullet ended it.
Rayshard Scott was 5 years old.
He was a new student at Bryson Elementary School in the Eagle Mountain-Saginaw school district.
At 2:15 p.m. Sunday, Rayshard and other family members were in the front yard of a home in the 8500 block of Steel Dust Drive in Fort Worth when police say a car drove up and the people inside started firing.
Rayshard was shot and killed.
So was 17-year-old Jamarrien Monroe, identified by neighbors as Rayshard’s cousin.
An 18-month-old boy who was in the front yard with them was also shot. That child survived.
No arrests have been made.
“Our young people are dying at a high rate and it’s because of gun violence,” said Fort Worth City council member Chris Nettles.
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“They try to tell us we can’t talk about this at the city level because it’s more of a state governance issue,” he said. “But it’s an issue that’s directly affecting my community, my neighborhood, our schools.”
Nettles wants Fort Worth to “challenge the system,” by working harder to track and bust illegal gun sales.
“These weapons are being purchased and then they’re being sold on the street where there’s no data. There’s no report,” he said.
“I know that may be above my paygrade, it may be above the city’s paygrade,” he said, “but we can’t be a city that’s afraid to challenge the state level, the governor, or Washington DC.”
Fort Worth police launched a new violence crime plan in the spring.
The department on Monday released updated data they said shows progress since the plan went into effect in April.
According to the department, as of Aug. 23, there had been a 5.5% decrease in homicides, a 24% decrease in what they call “non-fatal” shootings, and a 23% decrease in aggravated assault year over year.
But robberies are up 2.4%.
And following the violent weekend, the homicide count rose to one higher than it was one year before.
“Our officers continue working hard to ensure our community is made safer every day. Their efforts have been absolutely inspiring,” a statement from Fort Worth police said.
Hours after the deadly drive-by shooting, a more than 100-mile police chase ended in downtown Fort Worth when police say a male passenger shot the female driver he’d been holding at gunpoint.
Police then shot that suspect.
Nettles was a community activist before being elected to council. He is also a pastor.
And while encouraging police to do more to find illegal guns, he says it is also time for Fort Worth families to start talking.
“It may be a little harsh to say, but check their backpacks, check their rooms, have conversations,” he said.
“We want to wake these children up and say, this is real. It won’t really get real until it hits your household.”