PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A rise in teen-involved gun violence is causing concern in Philadelphia.
So far this year, the number of young shooting victims in the city has nearly doubled, leaving officials and advocates wondering how best to quell the violence.
In the last two days, at least five teens have been shot in Philadelphia.
In South Philadelphia, one of those teens lost his life.
This recent rash of gun violence among the youth in the city police admit has actually become all too common now.
“The number we have is obscene at this point,” said Kinebrew. “It’s young folks that are on the receiving end of this type of horror, and what we are finding is that young folks are on the aggressive side of this too.”
More than 90 teens have been shot this year in Philadelphia, that’s a 40 percent increase from last year.
A concerning statistic to hear, but in real life this is what it means for someone like 16-year-old Eric Lane living in North Philadelphia.
“You gotta watch your back all the time around here,” said Lane.
So what’s the solution?
“When you look at these teens out here, you have to see beyond the fears they are going through, beyond the phase where they may be misbehaving, you have to be able to see a vision inside of them,” said John Solomon of Endangered Kind.
Solomon says you have to start with trying to understand and change the teen.
Solomon knows first-hand because he was with them.
At 15 he was shot, then at 18 he shot someone.
“I wish I had someone like me,” said Solomon.
Something as simple as having a mentor could stop a teen from an experience with gun violence.
Now he offers that to the younger versions of himself in the same neighborhood he grew up in, through his organization Endangered Kind.
“They want to hear somebody who has been through what they’ve been through,” said Solomon. “Then they become more receptive.”
Solomon’s approach is just one method to curbing gun violence among teens in Philadelphia.
He admits more needs to be done.
If not, we continue on current pace, by the end of the year Philadelphia could have well over 100 teens shot.
There’s no telling how many of those lives will be lost.