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Shootings Of Baltimore Teens Rise As Overall Gun Violence Falls

Decades after losing her older brother to gun violence, Michelle Hines tried everything to keep her teenage son safe: checking in regularly with his teachers, coordinating extracurricular activities, and most importantly, trying to prevent him from growing up too fast. Despite those efforts, Izaiah Carter was fatally shot this month in a park adjacent to his Baltimore high school. He had turned 16. More children and teens are getting shot, even as gun violence overall trends downward in Baltimore. After several recent shootings of high schoolers, including three teens killed within blocks of their schools, local leaders are ramping up efforts to reduce youth violence and increase student safety, the Associated Press reports. Last week, officials announced an arrest in Izaiah’s case. Police said a motive hasn’t been identified.

Hines was in close touch with many of Izaiah’s teachers at Patterson High School. On March 6, the day he was killed, a teacher texted her saying he missed last period. A short time later, Hines received a call from the principal about the shooting. “We talk about the prevalence of guns in our community and the ease of access. We talk about the willingness to use those guns — and now, yet again, we’re talking about young people using guns against other young people,” said Police Commissioner Michael Harrison. “It has to stop.” The suspected shooter, Roger Alexander Alvarado-Mendoza, 23, was arrested in Texas while trying to flee the U.S.. Officials said he was not a Patterson student.. Hines is angry about the lack of gun control in a country where shootings claim the lives of many young Black men. She’s angry at local officials for allowing massive systemic inequities to persist for generations in Baltimore, a segregated city where violence remains heavily concentrated in majority-Black neighborhoods. She’s angry that her family is suffering because of forces beyond her control.


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