- Associated Press - Monday, January 23, 2017

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - The city’s mayor and police chief are speaking out against a rash of gun violence in Memphis over the weekend that left five dead, including two 15-year-old boys.

Mayor Jim Strickland’s office issued a statement Monday decrying the killings of the two boys and three adults. He said “the weekend’s violence came from cowards who are using weapons instead of words to resolve conflict - and it has to stop.”

Strickland said those who illegally carry and use guns “are the problem in Memphis. You are hurting our efforts to bring jobs and opportunity to our community.”

Memphis Police Director Michael Rallings said there have been 16 homicides so far this year. There were also 16 homicides at this time last year, when Memphis set a record with 228.

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