Seven people age 12 to 14 are shot to death nationwide in an average month. In Boston, three met that fate in just the past few weeks, says The Phoenix. That's more murders in that age group than Washington, D.C., has had in the past five years, with only one 13-year-old and one 14-year-old murder victim since 2002. In Philadelphia, only one of 406 murder victims last year was age 14; none was 13 or 12.
Why are so many Boston youngsters getting shot? It's hard to say, especially because none of the three recent murders has been solved. In fact, arrests have been made in just one of last year's 25 shootings with a victim younger than 16. Police made arrests for fewer than 25 percent of last year's total shooting homicides, and 14 percent of last-year's total non-fatal shootings.