Boston Mayor Michelle Wu met with city and neighborhood leaders on Tuesday to discuss an apparent rise in violence in the city and what can be done to improve public safety. This comes after three people were fatally shot over two days this weekend.
With violent crime dropping year over year, there is a trend in the recent shootings in the city -- the age of the shooters.
"We know that some of the more recent trends that are very troubling involve younger people. Our younger people having more access to weapons and being involved with more of the gun incidents in the streets as well," Wu said.
Wu said the meeting between clergy members, city officials, law enforcement and school officials was productive and they spoke about a range of issues, including a conversation about trauma and how to reach everyone affected by a violent act, mental health, and violence prevention and intervention.
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“The mental health epidemic that is in the wake of the COVID pandemic is certainly here with us," she said, noting that it will be important to offer resources to young people, particularly in schools, where the events of the pandemic over the last few years may have undermined previous efforts.
"In this moment there is a tremendous amount of work happening to ensure accountability in each incident," she added.
Her comments come after a spate of shootings in the city, and amid growing concern over youth violence in Boston.
Three people were fatally shot in the city over the weekend, according to city police.
Daniel Sanders, 36, died after being shot on Baird Street in Dorchester early Saturday morning. On Sunday morning, 33-year-old mother Jasmine Burrell was slain on Fairlawn Avenue in Mattapan, and hours later, Christian Thistle-Kavanaugh, 21, was shot to death on Geneva Avenue in Dorchester.
Bishop William E. Dickerson, II, one of those who attended the meeting, said transparency and teamwork between all the groups will be essential to improve the situation in the city.
"We can't politicize this and we can’t ignore it away," Dickerson said. "It’s painful, we know some of the families involved who have to deal with the painful reality of their loved one's loss.”
Tuesday's meeting was the first of more to come.
Also over the weekend, the Boston Police Department confirmed to NBC10 Boston that more kids have already been shot in Boston this year, 16, than in all of last year, when 12 children were shot.
Advocates have decried recent violence involving youth in Boston following several shootings, some of them deadly.
Boston Police Commissioner Michael Cox has said partnerships are key to reducing gun violence in the community.
A nonprofit organization is working to connect gang-involved youth in Boston to higher education to break cycles of poverty and violence.