A 16-year-old Philadelphia high school student gunned down in broad daylight outside a high school was the latest victim in a city that has seen the violent deaths of 26 children so far this year, says the Philadelphia Inquirer. “It’s time for the community to step forward. It’s not the Klan killing our kids,” NAACP president J. Whyatt Mondesire said.
Last year, 30 children were killed in the city, the largest number in the last five years. This year’s carnage, jarring, is lower. “As far as murder is concerned, the numbers are not up,” said Inspector James M. Boyle, who oversees the Police Department’s Homicide Unit. “I think whenever a child is shot – especially shot and killed – everybody gets upset because we all have kids. But the reality is there’s not as many kids being killed.” The violent deaths of children represent 9 percent of all slayings in the city this year, an uptick from the five-year low of 7.3 percent in 2002. Of the 26 child slayings this year, 14, or 54 percent, were caused by guns. That is roughly the same proportion as in 2003, when more than half the 30 slain children were killed by guns. Police have made arrests in 12 of the 26 youth-homicide cases this year.