By Maddie Kerth, Fox 8

August 7, 2023

A 13-year-old boy shot and killed in New Orleans East Sunday night is the twenty-first juvenile to die by gunfire so far this year, according to a New Orleans crime watchdog report.

The alarming trend is shocking neighborhoods across the city just as school starts for the new year.

Bullet casings mark the spot where Juelz Brock was shot and killed on Shubert Street.

Neighbors admitted to Fox 8 that they were afraid to discuss the incident.

“There’s a lot of fear in regard to a lot of this juvenile crime,” said Dillard University criminologist Dr. Ashraf Esmail.

He says there needs to be more research done into the motives of violent juvenile crime.

“Psychologically with anything dealing with death in unpredicted ways, it’s going to have a significant impact as they get older,” says Esmail. “You’re not going to forget that. It’s going to change you.”

The Metropolitan Crime Commission reports 46 non-fatal juvenile shooting victims this year.

Over the weekend, a three-year-old boy was shot in the head at the Walnut Square apartments.

Police say the alleged shooter, Javonte Shelton, was “dry firing” his weapon when a round discharged through the wall of his neighboring unit and struck the little boy.

“You got to deal with the consequences that come afterward,” a neighbor told our crew at the scene. “Bullets have no name on them.”

The toddler is still fighting for his life in critical condition.

While police made an arrest in the child’s shooting, the NOPD has yet to name a suspect in Brock’s death.

“Every violent crime that goes unsolved means that there is an increased potential for the shooters to continue to pray upon the public or the victims or friends of the victims to retaliate against the individuals that they believe are responsible for shooting their friends, family, and loved ones,” said Rafael Goyeneche with the Metropolitan Crime Commission (MCC).

Twelve juveniles were shot and killed by the same time last year.

Looking at the rest of the year, the data is not trending in the right direction.

“We’re seeing spikes in this type of crime because the offenders realize the numbers are in their favor,” said Goyeneche.

While the number of juveniles shot and killed so far this year is 75% higher than this time last year, the MCC reports the overall homicide rate this year is 15% lower than the same time last year.