Teens involved in several recent Tuscaloosa-area shootings

Increase in gun violence involving youth in Tuscaloosa

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - 19-year-old Lamarcus Jones didn’t answer questions from reporters while wearing handcuffs and a mask as officers walked him to a patrol car. He is charged with attempted murder and assault following Saturday’s shooting outside University Mall.

It’s one of three shootings this week in Tuscaloosa where teenagers were charged or injured. Investigators arrested three teens for shooting into an occupied home and several cars in the 2700 block of Short 16th Street around 2 a.m. Thursday morning.

“It sounded like a war zone literally, you could hear the different types of caliber by the sound,” according to Jerry Carter, President of the Tuscaloosa Chapter of the NAACP, after he awoke to the sound of gunfire. “In the short time I’ve been in the position and involved with working with young people for the most part it was pistols, which was bad enough. Now you got A-K’s, all kinds of assault weapons.”

17-year-old Tobias Wise is being charged as an adult in that shooting.

Carter wishes a youth mentoring program he was involved with at Tuscaloosa’s Juvenile Detention Center was available to mentor troubled youth here.

“We were never told it wasn’t effective. Never heard any complaints. We were always encouraged to keep coming back by staff and I would just have to say it was budget cuts,” Carter continued.

Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox says they take all these crimes seriously. “We are not going to tolerate this and we will also be enforcing the consequences for parents as well whenever it is a violation of the curfew law,” Maddox said.

The Tuscaloosa Police Department is set to unveil a new community policing initiative August 11th. Maddox said addressing juvenile crime will be a big part of that plan.

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