CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - Teenagers are responsible for nearly half of Charlotte’s 16 total murders, exemplifying a growing issue, according to CMPD.
“Seven of our homicide suspects in those cases so far are teenagers three of them just 15 years old,” said CMPD PIO Rob Trufano.
One of those 15-year-olds was involved in the latest homicide on Wembley Dr, where a 26-year-old was killed in broad daylight.
“It is disheartening but we can't close our eyes to the fact that there are young people that are taking pretty severe matters in their own hands and having tragic consequences,” CMPD Chief Kerr Putney said.
CMPD detective Susan Menessah believes these senseless murders happen because suspects don't think about the choices they're making.
“They overreact. they aren't equipped to handle a gun and they aren't equipped to handle it safely and properly so sometimes what you see is a kid with a finger on the trigger. They shouldn’t have a gun period because they don’t have the knowledge to operate it,” Det. Menessah said.
CMPD adds they will continue to utilize programs like j-post, a partnership with the DA's office and the Department of Justice, to serve those kids in the area facing more serious crimes.
“As a juvenile officer what we try to do is help they juveniles realize is that they have options rather than continuing to commit crime,” another CMPD officer said.
School ends in the coming weeks, but CMPD is optimistic this trend of teens and juveniles won't continue as many of these community-centered programs extend through the summer months.