The recent rise in violence involving youngsters is disturbing. Police officers say it starts at home, but the parents blame the city.
"This past week has been hell for me," says LaVanda Judkins. Judkins teenage son was shot on July 21St in the leg. "A person doesn't know the feeling when your child has got shot," says Judkins. She says her son was walking down the street when a shooter started blasting.
Judkins says, "He said the boy just opened fire and his friend started firing back to save him." Now she has questions that are hard to answer, along with why there has been such a spike recently in teen violence.
Some believe lack of judgment linked with questionable parenting plays a role.
Detective Michael Mangina says, "If you would do all you can to begin with at home to keep an eye on your kids maybe it wouldn't happen."
But Judkins says, "It's not the parents fault because, it's so much going on, children have to grow up with violence around them don't nobody do nothing about it."
So, the question remains, who's at fault for teen violence going up, Judkins now blames the city, claiming that it doesn't put forth any money for teen resources.
Judkins says, "The community don't want to put forth no money to help pay for nothing to get these children something to do, they'll put money in roads, in railroads and taking people to jail for traffic tickets but they won't put no money out there in the community for the children because they don't have nothing to do."
And as this mother looks back at pictures of her son, she says he's is doing better. He made it out with only a leg injury, he didn't want to talk on camera, but Judkins says teen violence has to stop.
"Where did I go wrong, because everything he asked for, I always given him," says Judkins.
To share your concerns, you're encouraged to call the mayor's office division of youth services at 205.320.0879