The Atlanta Police Department is pleading with parents, guardians and the public to “step up” after at least five teens were involved in shootings last weekend.

This weekend, in one incident alone, police say five teens between the ages of 15 and 19 were involved in a shooting on Andrew Young that resulted in five people shot. Two of the shot teens then carjacked a citizen at gunpoint and drove themselves to Grady in the stolen car. APD officers recovered three guns on that scene.

“Police alone cannot fix the juvenile crime or juvenile gun violence issue. If it is to be “fixed” it starts at home and expands to the village. Juvenile violence is bigger than APD. If we are going to put troubled juveniles on the right path to a better life and a bright future, all persons who claim to care, must act with intention, and carry some of the load.”

In another incident on April 24, officers were dispatched to a shots fired call in the area of 1928 Meador Ave SE. Upon arrival and while canvassing the area, officers located a 16-year-old male with an apparent gunshot wound. The teenager was taken to the hospital in stable condition.

“APD wants to know, where is the save the juveniles’ cavalry?” the department asked in a statement. “Where are all the voices who care so much about broken kids and community safety? Where are the concerned parents and family members while these kids are running the streets late into the night?”

Recent data from the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that “firearms surpassed car accidents as the No. 1 killer among children and teens.”

“Parents and family members are responsible for the rearing and accountability of their kids,” APD said. “We need parents, juvenile advocates, social services agencies, school officials, courts, churches, and other criminal justice partners to step up and do their part. Juveniles who lack supervision, love, guidance, and accountability, run the risk of ending up in gangs, prison, or the grave.”

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