Authorities Hope to Keep Guns From Teenagers

Try and talk to young people about violence in the Grove Hall section of Boston's Dorchester neighborhood, and they turn away.

Emotions are raw after 17-year-old Raekwon Brown was gunned down outside his high school Wednesday afternoon. A teen, sitting across the street, begged necn to move away from him, so no one would think he was a snitch.

Ricardo Figueroa says, with a son not quite two years old, he worries about the recklessness of some young people in the inner city.


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"You don't know, something could happen right now," he said.

"I think it's crazy," said Carl Lewis, a former gang member who has lived in Grove Hall for 40 years. "It used to be you get into an argument, it was a fistfight. Now it's a gunfight."

Will Morales knows the streets, too. An ex-con, he's been shot at, and he's been stabbed twice. He's now the commissioner for the city's Centers for Youth & Families. He says the the Internet has changed the landscape — prompting kids to posture through posts and pictures and turning conflicts into group think.

"Small little remarks get built up into social media beefs," he explained.

Those beefs are settled with easy access to guns. Boston Police say they get one off the street and five more come on - a gun used too many times no good. "It loses street value," Morales says. "One thing you don't want to do is be tied to a murder you didn't do."

Police have made no arrests and Commissioner William Evans is frustrated no one has come forward with information. Morales hopes someone has the courage, but with 13 homicides in the city this year, he understands why they may not.

Morales says, "They're not only fearful for themselves. They have families. They have siblings, they have cousins."

He says kids can always talk anonymously to the city's "StreetWorkers." There are about 50 violence prevention and intervention workers ready to work through conflicts and help get kids into better situations. They walk city streets in black T-shirts emblazoned with "StreetWorker" or kids can call the Centers for Youth & Families at (617) 635-4524 or click here.

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