NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Homicides in the Metro police’s South Nashville Precinct are up 42% from this time last year.
One of the 17 murders was 28-year-old Golden Hairston.
“Golden is a legend, and that’s why I do what I do, ’cause legends don’t die,'” Hairston’s mother Pamela Anthony Paynes told News 2.
Anthony Paynes hosts what she calls the Golden Table every Friday night on Facebook live, keeping her son’s legacy alive and advocating for an end to violence and murder.
“The Golden table, it gives me strength,” she said.
Anthony Payne received the dreaded call on Jan. 7 just before 10 p.m.
“They was saying that my son had got shot,” she recalled, “In a million years, I would’ve never thought it would’ve been death.”
Hairston had been shot outside of his apartment complex at the Hickory Highlands in Antioch.
“As soon as he said um,” she choked on the words, “Sorry… but your son has died.. and at that time I just lost it.”
“For somebody to kill Goldie, it had to be jealousy, because he didn’t make enemies,” she added.
Nine months later, Metro police gang detectives made an arrest— 31-year-old Joseph Dunlap, charging him with murder and aggravated robbery.
But some parents are still waiting for arrests years later.
“It’s already four years, but the pain is still like the first day,” Claudia Rodriguez told News 2.
Her daughter, 18-year-old Liliana Rodriguez was shot and killed on Interstate 24 on July 31, 2016. A suspect still has not been named.
“The person that doing this, still out. so that’s why we concerned about others,” Rodriguez said.
While murders in Nashville affect all backgrounds and races— 70% of those killed in the last year were Black.
In a year of social unrest and a powerful Black Lives Matter movement, Hairston’s mom has a message.
“We got so much in us as black people, I just don’t understand why we’re killing each other… we got to do better,” she told her viewers on the Golden Table.
“This Black on Black crime… that’s what tears me up, because I’m Black, so for another Black man to kill my child, it’s heartbreaking,” she told News 2.
About half of the murders in Music City this year still have not been solved, but Metro police hope an increase in community policing will curb violent crime and ultimately murders.
“People just need to stop being so petty and jealous of the next person because there’s enough out here for everybody,” Anthony Paynes concluded.
The South Nashville precinct has also seen a 100% increase in gunshot homicides. This time last year there were seven homicides by a firearm, this year, it’s at 14.