Nearly 500 Detroit children have died in homicides since 2000 — an average of nearly three dozen a year, says the Detroit News. Most were gun-related, and most were among children 14-18. Many youngsters just got in the way of a bullet intended for an adult, or for no one in particular. An analysis of what's killing Detroit children ages 18 and younger pinpointed violence — including abusive caretakers and gun play between kids — as the No. 2 cause, behind infant mortality.
The findings came from a six-month News investigation, during which thousands of bits of data from state health departments across the U.S. were gathered and analyzed. The News found that the death rate from all forms of violence in 2010, the most recent year for which comparable data are available on other communities, is higher in Detroit than in any other major U.S. city: 15.7 per 100,000 children. The number of child homicides increased in Detroit during the Great Recession, peaking at 45 in 2009. And while the number fell somewhat after that, there's no evidence that the deadly violence will evaporate any time soon.