Milwaukee police: Gun-related crimes rising among young people

Milwaukee's assistant police chief said the department has seen a recent uptick in gun-related crimes among young people.

Not only that, but MPD said the offenders seem to be getting younger. Police are calling on parents to not only hold their kids accountable, but to hold themselves accountable.

"People are getting sick of it," said Assistant Chief Nicole Waldner. "We have to look at what are we doing once they are caught."

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The concern comes as two 15-year-old boys were shot and killed on Saturday. The suspects are all minors, including one as young as 13 years old.

"We are seeing much more gun-related crimes when it comes to youth offenders," Waldner said. "Armed robbery, carjackings – you know how marijuana has always been called a gateway drug, that’s what armed robbery is."


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The question for police is why and where are young people getting guns? The assistant chief said, most often, weapons come from the minor's household.

"I need to rely on adults to do the right thing, so we see less involvement in juveniles in crime – or even being shot," said Waldner. "It seems that there’s multiple families, households with multiple guns, and none of them are secure."

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It's not just teens getting their hands on a gun, either. A 3-year-old was shot and seriously injured last week after, according to sources with knowledge of the case, a gun was unsecured.

"They are just too readily accessible because they’re not being safeguarded," Waldner said.

Milwaukee police said last year there were 19 youth homicide victims – a 12% increase from 2021.