PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — So far this year, 31 children have been killed by guns in Allegheny County, and many more have been wounded.
One of the latest victims, a 14-year-old boy shot and killed on Paulson Avenue, just feet from a park. The violence has some people are asking if more kids are becoming the victims of violence.
“I mean these are our children, and it affected me, I know it affects our officers, it affects the detectives that are investigating these types of crimes,” said Pittsburgh Police Chief Scott Schubert.
Chief Schubert is speaking out for the first time since this weekend’s string of child-involved shootings.
KDKA looked into the numbers, and it’s not just perception. More kids died this year in homicides in Allegheny County than in 2016. The year isn’t over yet.
To date, 31 kids – age 21 and under – have died in homicides across the county. Of the 96 total homicides to date, that is 32 percent.
In 2016, 27 kids died, making up 25 percent of homicides. And in 2015, 32 kids died, counting for 28 percent of that year’s total homicides.
“I would say the easiest thing for someone to do if they were really upset about this, beyond joining community block watches and reaching out to people in their neighborhoods, is to call their legislators and ask them what they’re doing?” said Rob Conroy, of CeaseFire PA.
Conroy works in the community and says he knows some of kids affected. He said he’s mortified by the recent crime.
“I don’t even want to harp on this from a professional angle, but everything just goes right back to the fact that guns are getting into the hands of people that shouldn’t have them,” he said.
Meanwhile, Chief Schubert says his department will continue to actively engage with kids of all ages out in the community.
“Just follow our Facebook and Twitter pages and you’ll see the outstanding work that our officers are doing day in and day out, working with the community, and that’s something that we believe in and we’re committed to and we’re going to keep doing,” he said.
The chief also wants the public to know they’re working to bring these shooters to justice.