Superintendent: Young teenagers behind violence

Image 1 of 2

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -- As we enter the summer months some are worried the violence in Chicago is only beginning.  Already this year 200 people have been murdered in the city.

On Saturday, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson told a crowd at the 6th District Annual Block Club Convention that those responsible for most of the shootings aren't even out of high school.

“When I started as a patrolman in 1988 the average age of our shooters were 19- and 20-years-old.  Right now the average age is 15- and 16-years-old,” said Johnson.

Johnson said he's working to rebuild the trust between the public and the police, but he needs help. 

“We can't arrest our way out of this situation it's not just a police problem, it's our problem,” said the Superintendent calling on parents, guardians and teachers.

At the annual Chicago United Hoops Classic basketball game most agree including some young basketball players.

“It starts from the household and I feel like parents should push their kids to do better in life and push them to go to school, push them to do what we do,” said Nigel Webb a junior at Lakeview high school and basketball player.

Jamal Hanson, 18, said he decided at a young age he wanted nothing to do with gangs.

“My family, they tried to keep me away from it, I saw it, I knew it wasn't the right thing at a young age,” said Hanson. “I was like…’this isn't for me, I can't be doing that.’”

Now these young men strive to be role models for the younger generation.

“Peer pressure, it's really stressful, we all go through it, we've all been through it,” said Hanson. “It's a lot easier just playing your role when it comes to doing the right thing.”

So far this weekend three people have been killed and another nine wounded in the City of Chicago.