There’s been a 52% increase in the number of juveniles shot in D.C. so far this year compared to the same period last year.
Mayor Muriel Bowser said the city is doing all that it can to reduce the number of shootings; and while she said some progress is being made, she also expressed great concern about the gun violence and younger ages of teens involved.
D.C. Police Department data, first obtained by NBC Washington’s Mark Seagraves, shows that there were 14 juveniles shot to death this year between Jan. 1 and Nov. 3. That compares to six in the same period last year. There were 76 non-fatal shootings in the 2022 time frame, compared to 41 in the same period in 2021.
“We’re very concerned about how young some of our kids are that are getting involved in violence and how willing they are to use guns … we literally throw everything at the problem … we need all aspects of our system from prevention to accountability to be working,” Bowser said when asked Monday about the rising tide of teen violence.
D.C. police Chief Robert Contee said last week he’s alarmed to see teens as young as 13 and 14 years old becoming involved in violent crime, and teens obtaining easy-to-assembly gun kits purchased online.
Bowser has frequently spoken out about illegal guns in the city. She also, in the past, called for increases in the police budget, introduced violence intervention programs and beefed up behavioral health services.
“Any young person dying on our streets is unacceptable; I do know that we’re seeing progress from the beginning of the year to the end of the year,” Bowser said.
But there were several more shootings this weekend involving teenagers, that were not counted in the latest police data on juvenile gunshot wounds.