Knoxville mayor on gun violence: ‘This is the biggest issue facing our city’

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon spoke on Monday about the latest fatal shooting that occurred over the weekend. The incident resulted in the death of a 17-year-old Johnkelian ‘John John’ Mathis.

Kincannon is once again calling for an end to the gun violence in the city. So far this year, there have been nearly 30 deadly shootings in Knoxville. The mayor said her thoughts and prayers were with the families, but she is also asking for the community’s help not only in finding those responsible for this shooting but also in changing the gun violence trend.

“I know that we have been working hard on dealing with this we have had a big uptick in communities across the country – big cities, small cities – all over the country and Knoxville has not been immune to that,” Kincannon said. “We’ve done more than ever before on violence interruption on grants and investments to address systemic issues and poverty and other things and also trying to focus on very concerted efforts to people who are at risk of committing violence or being victims of violence. But clearly, we need to do more. This is the biggest issue facing our city. People are dying and it’s not okay. It’s something that’s on my mind 24-7 and we’re going to continue pressing on it and I’m not satisfied with the status quo. We’ve done more than ever before but we need to do more.”

The mayor asks that anyone with information on recent incidents involving gun violence to reach out to the police. In May, a Knoxville Police spokesperson said the rise in the number of incidents related to gun violence can be attributed to two things:

One — that gun violence has been steadily increasing over the past couple of years.

Two — that the department is investing more time and resources into following up on shots fired calls where there was no initial or obvious evidence that a shooting had occurred, which has resulted in increased documentation.

Anyone with information regarding any gun violence incidents should contact East Tennessee Valley Crime Stoppers by phone at 1-800-222-8477, online at www.easttnvalleycrimestoppers.org, or via the free mobile app, P3 Tips. Tipsters will remain completely anonymous and be eligible to receive a cash reward.

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