LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It was a violent weekend in Louisville: a couple was found dead in their home, another person was found dead in their front yard and there was a deadly triple shooting involving three teens in Shively.
There were four murders in Louisville in a 24-hour period. The first happened early Saturday, right at Dixie Highway and Hill Street. That's where police say Aaron Combs and Julie Clemons were gunned down inside their home. Their bodies were found around 4:30 Saturday morning.
Two days later, there were still no arrests in the case
Police say the timing of the murder -- so early in the morning -- makes identifying a suspect more difficult because witnesses are scarce.
Twelve hours after the Combs and Clemons case, three teens were shot near Shively.
Neighbors say they thought they heard fireworks coming from behind an abandoned house on Adrienne Way around 5 p.m. Saturday, but those sounds were actually gunshots.
When police arrived, they found three victims, ranging in age from 15 to 19 years old. One of the victims died, and the other two remain in critical condition at University Hospital.
Police say all of the people involved in that shooting have been identified and charges could be coming.
Less than 12 hours later, around 4:15 a.m., police were called to Powell Avenue, where they found 29-year-old Martel Hall dead from a gunshot wound in his front yard.
Police have not reported any arrests in any of the weekend murders.
So far this year, there have been 14 murders in Metro Louisville -- an unusually high number.
Laura Combs says she hasn't been able to put down the picture of her son Aaron for two days.
"This is him at Kings Island, Harvest Homecoming, my house when we had a little get-together," she said, showing various pictures Monday morning. "He was a momma's boy."
"Whoever killed my son and his fiancé, do the right thing and turn yourself in," she added. "He didn't deserve to die."
Tamara Guillion, the cousin of murder victim Martel Hall, says she is tired of the bloodshed.
"The violence just has to stop," she said.
Community activist Christopher 2X helped to bring the grieving families together to address the media.
"Are there any real answers or solutions that I can offer? No," he said.
The family of Anthony Smith Jr. says he was the teen killed in the triple shooting Saturday near Shively.
"I had no idea that he was in harms way. I would have never let him die alone," his mother, Elgina Smith said.
Two other teens were sent to the hospital in the same shooting and are in critical condition. Smith's family says the other victims are 15 and 17 and that all of them were students at Western High School and friends with their son.
"For me to bury him at 18, it's just not fair," Smith said Monday.
Words from the safety czar
When the city named Anthony Smith "Safety Czar," he promised a 25-percent cut in violent crime over five years.
The city started a number of mentoring, job and reentry programs for troubled teens.
"What else could we be doing?" he asked. "What are we missing?"
Metro Mentors gives Louisville government employees time off work to invest in teens. Right Turn offers work and mentoring to area youth who have been involved in the juvenile justice system. The city has also helped establish "Zones of Hope," providing family resources in hubs of high poverty.
Smith says he is planning a new approach.
"We're getting ready to hire people to be working on the street to be outreaching: working with kids who won't come into the community centers," he said. "You'll see things changing when we get those people on the street."
Hiring signs go out this week, putting boots on the ground in dangerous neighborhoods.
"We need to do more prevention and intervention," he said.
Smith says the plan is in place, but it takes more time to see the turnaround -- time Laura Combs did not have.
"We need answers, we need closure and we need peace," said Katia Hurst, a Combs family friend. "His mother is hurting."
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