Gun violence among teens on the rise in Sioux Falls
SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) – Teens and guns, it can be a scary combination. Almost every major crime in Sioux Falls in recent months has involved gunshots at the hands of a teenage gunman.
Earlier this week, police said a 16-year-old shot a 13-year-old girl in the leg as he pulled into a car full of teenagers.
In December, a 16-year-old was shot dead in a drug case gone awry, at least 4 guns and a handful of teenagers were involved in the shooting.
A Lincoln high school student killed at a Halloween rally, the suspected gunman was also a teenager. In August, police arrested a teenager with a stolen gun for attempted murder for shooting outside a convenience store.
Even during the Empire Mall riots last spring, police arrested a teenager accused of shooting officers.
Police say they have closely examined the increase in gun violence among adolescents, but see no reason for it.
“You know, at the end of the day, you know we’ve seen a few because of the drugs, we’ve seen some because of the gang members, there’s just a number of reasons why. it could happen and there’s not necessarily one thing that fits as to why we’ve seen an increase. Sioux Falls Police Department spokesman Constable Sam Clemens said
An article published by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry indicates that an adolescent’s frontal cortex is still developing. For this reason, teens are less likely to:
- Think before you act
- Take a break to consider the consequences of their actions
- Change their dangerous or inappropriate behavior
Sadly, this is something the police see firsthand every day. And when it comes to guns, there has been a definite change in behavior.
“Previously they would show them and display them, threaten them with them and now they go through and use the guns, so it’s incredibly frustrating,” Clemens said.
According to figures provided by the FBI, thieves escaped with 3,686 guns in South Dakota between 2012 and 2017.
In Sioux Falls, a lot of these guns were taken in cars. And what’s even more surprising is that many of these cars have been unlocked.
“If they find a gun, there’s a good chance that gun will be used to commit other crimes in the future and we’ve seen that in the past,” Clemens said.
When it comes to guns, teens and violence, police are hoping this is just an anomaly and not a new normal for a growing city like Sioux Falls.