CLEVELAND — A 12-year-old boy was shot in the elbow around 3:30 a.m. Tuesday while walking near West 98th and Western. Police said someone fired shots from a passing car.
It's the latest shooting involving children this month. So far in May, there have been four shootings involving kids under 18 years old in Cleveland.
According to statistics, violent crime in cities across the country, including Cleveland, is up.
Since the beginning of 2021, according to police reports, at least 14 shootings have happened involving children under 18, two have died.
Police said they are seeing more retaliation shootings. “One gang shoots another gang member, they come back and retaliate against that person’s family, children, the car they are in,” said Capt. Richard McIntosh, Cuyahoga County Crime Stoppers.
Walter Patton was born, raised, and lives in the Central District Neighborhood. He knows all about violence on city streets. He served time in prison on drug and weapons charges. But since getting out nine years ago, he’s taking steps to try and stop it.
He started the group Art Not Violence in an attempt to keep kids off the streets. He said it’s important for young people to have a role model in their communities. “Some come to my house, ring the doorbell, I come outside, some others see me on social media playing with the kids, they come over and say it’s my turn,” said Patton.
He believes violence is on the rise partially because of the pandemic.
Myesha Crowe, executive director of Cleveland Peacemakers Alliance, agrees.
“I do think there’s a group of people that would not have been shooters, victims or perpetrators if social recreation wasn’t removed, if trusted adults wasn’t removed, if the pandemic didn’t happen,” explained Crowe.
Cleveland Peacemakers Alliance works with children and families who have experienced violence.
"We are alerted whenever anyone in our age range are a victim of gun violence," explained Crowe. "We deploy to the bedside to assist the family in their time of crisis," she explained.
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