HPD takes aim at gangs after shooting deaths of 10 children

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Houston's police chief said there will be no more slaps on the wrist after a string of violent shootings that either killed or injured children.

HPD Chief Art Acevedo read the names of children killed by gun violence on Houston streets during a Thursday afternoon press conference.

The chief's tough message to criminals comes on the heels of news that an 8-year-old boy died from his injuries after being caught in the middle of gunfire on March 1, off Scott Street near Wheeler Avenue.

The boy's 5-year-old sister survived the shooting, but was left with a gunshot wound to the leg. An 11-year-old also inside the vehicle was not injured.

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"I'm tired of seeing young men and young women shot in the streets of Houston, and like it doesn't mean anything. Everybody's lives matter," HPD Executive Assistant Police Chief Troy R. Finner said.

Acevedo spoke about the lives of 10 children lost to gun violence within the last year, including De'Maree Adkins, O'Cyrus Breaux, Nelson Cruz, Joshua Hill, Messiah Marshall, Jaquan Neal, Ashley Perdomo, Juan Trinidad, Edwin Valdez, and Stephen Verdell Jr.

"These may just be names to 2.4 million people in this city, but these are somebody's child. A mother carried these children," Acevedo said. "To the gang members responsible for many of these killings, just remember you're supposed to be tough. If you're that tough, call us."

The police chief announced he is working with Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg to get steeper penalties in shootings that result in a child's death.

TIMELINE: 10 children killed in gun violence in Houston
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TIMELINE: Children killed by gun violence in Houston

He also said homicide detectives are now working 24/7 to stop these shootings from happening.

"When people cross the line and kill a child because they are that reckless and that heartless, let's get them in prison where they belong," Acevedo said.

Acevedo said convicted felons caught with a firearm should be sent back to prison.

"We've gotten way too easy on criminals with guns," the chief said. "Some of these hard core gang members may be afraid to die, but they don't want to be in prison."

The Houston Police Department says homicides have gone down 10 percent in the last year, but that the shooting of children cannot continue.

In the latest deadly shooting that ended the life of the 8-year-old boy, police said her two of her three children were hit in the short moment their mother went into a nail salon to check on wait times.

No arrests have been made in the case. If you have any information about any of these homicides, call 713-308-3600.

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ORIGINAL REPORT: Two children found shot in SE Houston
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Houston police are investigating after two children were shot on Scott Street.

WATCH: Reporter Steven Romo reports near the salon
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A vehicle riddled with bullet holes can be seen outside the nail salon where the two children were shot.

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