Recent rash of teen shootings cause alarm for activists

ABC13 has reported on five shooting scenes involving teenagers in a span of three days

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Thursday, September 23, 2021
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The Houston area has seen a rash of shootings involving teenagers in the area just this week, and some of them have been deadly.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The Houston area has seen a rash of shootings involving teenagers in the area just this week, and some of them have been deadly.

March For Our Lives Houston activist George Tataris, who is 17 years old, believes it's time for the violence to end.

"The shootings and killings of these kids are being normalized because of how frequently they happen," he said.

Shell casing markers and crime scene tape have disrupted daily life at five shooting scenes involving teenagers that ABC13 has reported on in just three days.

One happened at Trinity Gardens Park near Kashmere High School on Wednesday. Both people involved were under 21, according to police, which is the legal age to openly carry a gun in Texas since Sept. 1.

"I know guns are allowed," said Houston Police Asst. Chief Patricia Cantu. "Open carry is in effect. Juveniles shouldn't have them, number one, but they need to start looking at the dangers of other people who they can harm. So, we hope that people are more responsible, and we are hoping kids take into account that weapons, guns, do kill and hurt people. So, we're hoping that they use better judgement."

In this case, police said the teens were shooting at each other. Now, a 16-year-old is in critical condition.

He's now one of almost 2,500 people in the U.S. between the ages of 12 and 17 who've been injured in a shooting this year.

In the same time span, 885 people in that age range were shot and killed, according to the Gun Violence Archive.

Katherine Chen, another 17-year-old with March For Our Lives Houston, said this type of violence doesn't have to keep happening.

"It's hard to see any change, and it's really disappointing and really scary as a teen myself," she said.

The activist's message to adults is to do whatever it takes to keep guns out of the wrong hands, and they plan to continue pushing for education, aid, and compassionate and caring legislation to prevent deadly shooting scenes.

"The bottom line is that we are kids," Tataris said. "We are kids, and we are fighting this extremely challenging issue. We need the help of legislators. We can't do this alone. We know there are solutions to it. We know that together we can end gun violence."

Meanwhile, police are still searching for the teenage suspect in the shooting at Trinity Gardens Park while the other teen recovers from surgery.