EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – Javion DeShay Presley was shot outside a home on the 800 block of Line Street. First responders provided care until they could get him to the hospital, but he died shortly after arriving.

Rev. William Payne, Minister of Justice for Memorial Baptist Church says he had met Presley through one of his mentor programs. While also knowing Presley’s family, Rev. Payne said this is one of the last things he ever wanted to see.

“One of the things I’ve always said when I do a funeral it’s never good for a parent to bury their child,” Rev. William Payne, minister of justice for Memorial Baptist Church said. “It was never meant for parents to bury their child. Children are supposed to bury their parents at a ripe old age.”

For family and friends dealing with the loss, Sergeant Anna Gray of the Evansville Police Department says there will be a struggle period and for young children, the healing process could take even longer.

“Trying to talk to these young group of kids to make them understand what’s going on or how they might be feeling because I mean teenagers sometimes don’t always have a good outlet or know how to talk about things,” Sergeant Gray said. “They keep things inside.”

During the first 6 months of 2022, Sergeant Gray says the violence in the city has been on a consistent level.

“It certainly seems like it has been very consistent lately and obviously with the warmer weather a lot of people are gathering more and more outside,” Sergeant Gray said. “You’re going to have bigger crowds, heated arguments but certainly seems like we’ve experienced a lot of gun violence over the last couple of months.”

Rev. Payne says the gun violence has only gotten worse and changes have to be made in the community.

“I had posed a question once before have we had enough and since that time, the murder rate has gone up and we have yet to be able to figure out the reasons behind the increase in the murder rates,” Rev. Payne said.