Juvenile prosecutor says rise in teen violence an alarming trend

Juvenile prosecutor says rise in teen violence an alarming trend

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - In the last 12 months, eight teenagers in Toledo have all been charged with murder.

Juvenile prosecutor Lori Olender says the number of teens committing crimes with guns is alarming.

"Aggravated robberies with guns, felonious assaults with guns, crimes in general the past few years have been about crimes with guns," Olender said.

She says while her office is responsible for punishing these teens for their crimes, more has to be done to stop these crimes for ever being committed.

She says the best way to deal with the rise in juvenile gun crimes is for the community to work with police to get weapons out of the hands of teenagers.

"It's absolutely concerning," Olender said. "And as for those who live in the suburbs, they should be concerned we need to come together to solve this problem."

Police say guns are easily accessible to kids on the streets. And the reason why more are armed now is the combination of having to protect themselves and the need to fit in with others who have weapons.

Olender says this dangerous combination can lead kids on a road to either crime or death.

"There is no realization about what a gun can do, I don't think," Olender said. "If they carry them, they think it is cool. They want it for protection and they just don't realize in the snap of a a finger, someone's life can be lost."

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