Arlington police detectives are investigating the city's 16th murder of the year, two of which happened in separate incidents since Friday.
Both incidents involved underaged alleged shooters who are in custody, according to police.
“We’ve had these young kids that are getting their hands on guns and they’re committing violent offenses here in Arlington,” Arlington Police Chief Al Jones said. “Unfortunately, we’re seeing it all too often, not just here in Arlington.”
The latest murder happened on Sunday afternoon at an East Arlington park on Greenway Street.
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Two young men were engaged in an argument on social media and decided to meet at the park to fight, Jones said.
When a 21-year-old showed up, police said a 17-year-old suspect opened fire and killed him.
“The suspect was 17 and the victim was 21,” Jones said. “So again, we have somebody who is a juvenile who is committing violent offenses here.”
Police rushed to another senseless scene of gun violence in broad daylight on Friday.
Two teen brothers, 17-year-old Kaleb Williams and 13-year-old Joshua Williams, were gunned down during a fight near a Southeast Arlington apartment complex.
Police said the argument began at a nearby barbershop and spilled over into the apartments.
A third juvenile who was shot and injured is facing two counts of capital murder.
Three guns were recovered by police, Jones said.
It was a scene Glynda Williams had to see for herself on Friday.
“I didn’t event comb my hair. I just came outside because I was in disbelief that it was happening again,” she said.
Williams is still grieving her own loss. She said her 18-year-old son was gunned down late last year in an alley nearby by another teen.
“We’re losing our babies,” she cried out. “It’s heartbreaking! I’m in disbelief. I really am.”
There have been 16 murders in Arlington so far this year, according to the department. It is likely the city will surpass 17 murders, the total number of homicides in 2019.
The COVID-19 pandemic saw an increase in murders with 23 reported in the city last year.
Ending gun violence, Jones stresses, must involve everyone, including parents and teenagers learning "how to mitigate incidents without using violence."
Jones praised his detectives for solving both cases within 24 hours and the department’s partnership with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to trace every gun recovered by police.
“We want to know where these guns are coming from and we want to hold those people who are putting guns into the hands of these kids -- we want to hold those people responsible,” he said.
Williams emphasized the need for more community programs providing safe activities for teens.
“We need Arlington police to step up and realize there’s guns in our community, we need them out,” she said. “We need the parents, if you see these guns in your house, get them out!”