By Jordan Lippincott, WGNO

August 8, 2023

 A growing number of shooting victims in New Orleans are juveniles.

New numbers show the increase, and despite all categories of violent crime being down compared to 2022, the president of the Metropolitan Crime Commission, Rafael Goyeneche, says juvenile violence remains a significant area of concern.

The 13-year-old boy killed in Sunday night’s shooting in the Seabrook neighborhood is the 21st victim under the age of 18 to die by gunfire this year, compared to 12 this time last year.

“While homicides were higher last year than this year, we’re seeing a subset of the homicides actually spike with respect to youthful victims, and usually, the age of the victim is close to the age of the shooter,” Goyeneche said.

Patricia Duckett, who relocated to Marrero after her 15-year-old son Malik was fatally shot in the Gentilly-Terrace neighborhood in June, says no arrests have been made, despite many witnesses at the scene.

“It’s painful because I already feel like NOPD is not doing enough already, so it’s just painful that they’re not doing anything in a case of a child being murdered,” Duckett said.

Goyeneche says NOPD must do a better job at identifying the shooters but admits it’s difficult without cooperation from the public.

“If the public doesn’t report it, these shooters continue to go out and target people, which fuels violent crime or retaliatory street justice that is also emerging as violent crime,” Goyeneche said.

Duckett is yet another mother affected by gun violence, hoping another family doesn’t have to suffer the same way.

“Something needs to be done to help the kids because I don’t know what the problem is exactly, but it is a problem that we have in the community,” Duckett said.