KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Sherri Williams said neighborhood shootings, no matter the zip code, affect everyone.
"Our community knows who these people are," she said.
Just last Saturday a 5-year-old girl was shot on Balsam Drive in North Knoxville. It was a moment that left many communities looking for answers.
"Someone always says I was just there or I just saw this person," Williams said.
Williams is a mom, a community advocate and an East Knoxville native.
"I stand for the unspoken and I like to bring awareness to things and opportunities in the community that people would otherwise not know," she said.
Over the years she said she has seen many tragedies, many parents losing kids and many kids losing parents.
"It's not normal to have this happen, and you're not crazy because you have nightmares... you're not crazy because you can't sleep at night, because you go to school and you heard bullets all night," she said.
Williams' experience is something the Knoxville Police Department said it works to keep track of.
"It informs what we do on a day to day basis," KPD spokesperson Scott Erland said.
He is talking about the department's most recent map detailing shootings across the city, which includes every call resulting in an injury or death. So far that number is 54. Erland said the violence isn't isolated to just one part of the city.
"If you get set in this idea that this is only in one place, that's gonna be proven incorrect right from the start," Erland said.
While he believes Knoxville isn't really high in crime compared to other cities,, that doesn't mean the numbers don't matter.
"These aren't just statistics, these aren't just numbers. These are real people that are affected by these things that are happening," Erland said.
Williams agrees and said remembering real people live in these areas is vital because losing just one person is a loss for everyone.
"The family is not the only one that loses, it's the whole community. These are real people," she said.