Recent Gun Violence Involves Teen Victims, Suspects as Young as 13

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Gun violence has claimed the lives of several young people in Dallas this year, according to the latest data from the Dallas Police Department.

Several incidents during the month of June alone involve teens as young as 13.

It has some city leaders concerned about what the coming months, which traditionally see a spike in crime, will bring.

So far in 2022, there have been 113 murders, up from the same time period the year before, according to data compiled by NBC 5.

Twelve victims were under the age of 18; six of the victims were 16 or younger, according to DPD.

“Summer has started, and the violence is going to begin,” said community leader Rene Martinez.

The latest homicide involves a 15-year-old victim and a 13-year-old alleged gunman.

Isaac Manuel Rodriguez’s mother tells NBC 5 that Isaac was days from celebrating his 16th birthday.

Rodriguez died in a shooting last Wednesday afternoon in Oak Cliff.

Dallas police say a 13-year-old boy on the scene told officers Rodriguez shot himself.

During the course of the investigation, DPD says detectives believe the 13-year-old had a gun, thought it was empty, pulled the trigger and shot the victim in the head.

The 13-year-old is now charged with manslaughter, according to police.

Rodriguez’s mother says her son was kind and was always helping with his two younger siblings.

Police responded to an unrelated shooting involving youth on June 4 near an Old East Dallas park.

Police said Jordan Perez, 14, was shot in the head.

DPD’s Gang Unit later arrested a 15-year-old boy, charging the teen with murder and unlawful carrying of weapons. The suspect was found with a weapon on his person and other weapons at his location, according to DPD.

Another deadly shooting involving minors happened June 3 during a fight at a park in South Oak Cliff.

Police said Noel King, 15, showed up at a hospital where he later died.

King was very active in the mime ministry at church, according to a local pastor.

The three recent shootings are still being investigated.

The teen victims are among 113 people murdered so far this year in Dallas.

Community leader Rene Martinez is on the mayor’s task force to reduce violence.

Martinez notes that while overall violent crime has declined across the city, the number of murder are indeed up from the same time period the year before and says some of the murders involve domestic violence incidents.

“A lot of violence among people who know each other,” he said. “We’ve got to break that up. We’ve got to intervene. We’ve got to provide counseling.”

Alfonso Herrera is a former coordinator of gang prevention efforts for the city of Dallas.

Herrera is currently working with the Dallas Independent School District targeting at-risk youth through his ‘Positive Passage Program.’ It connects youth to services and positive mentors in the community with the goal of preventing gang, drug or criminal activity.

Herrera says it is important for the city to have a more-streamlined approach where city departments work with school and community groups to understand and work with each effort to maximize the impact.

Reaching teens before it’s too late, he says, must also involve parents.

Herrera has long used the ‘five, two, one’ method in his talks with parents.

“Every parent should know the name of five friends your child hangs out with. First names. Last names,” he said. “Not ‘Chuy,’ no, no, no. I want first names and last names. And the names of two teachers and what is the last book you read with your child. If you do not know five, two and one, then your child is at risk because you don’t know their world.”

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