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29 juveniles shot since start of 2020 in East Baton Rouge Parish

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BATON ROUGE - Records obtained by WBRZ from law enforcement show 29 juveniles have received gunshot wounds since the start of 2020.

That alarming number validates what we've seen in the past month. Seven juveniles have been shot in East Baton Rouge Parish. The latest shooting was Tuesday in broad daylight when an 8-year old was shot.

"I have reached out to the mother who was also shot and expressed my concern and extended my prayers to her and her daughter," Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome said.

The shootings have the mayor's full attention. She said currently Baton Rouge Police are expediting all resources to bring the perpetrators to justice. Two weeks ago, it was announced that $2.5 million in federal Cares Act funding for the pandemic would be used to combat crime instead. A key to stopping crime is having more community help.

"We have no control over their bad behavior," Broome said. "A lot of what we are seeing as it relates to crime in our community is retaliatory. It's people who know people and they believe the way to remedy their challenges is through this bad behavior and gun violence."

Records obtained from the Children's Hospital show that from October 2018 until October of 2019 there were 22 gunshot victims.

From October 2019 until August 31, 2020, there were 33 victims.

Juvenile Court Judge Adam Haney said the numbers are concerning.

"This is really unusual, since I've been on the bench, to have this large of a number. But everything over the past year has been really unusual," Haney said. It is very concerning that we have seen an uptick in juvenile victims of violent crime."

Haney said right now more needs to be done to intervene when problematic behavior is discovered in juveniles. He believes addressing it at a young age will prevent crimes when they are older.

"We do a pretty good job of identifying those kids but do a bad job of intervening effectively into these families' lives to have the impact we want to have," Haney said. "That's not just us in EBR Parish. The State of Louisiana does a terrible job."

On Oct. 14, the council will vote to approve acceptance of HUD Cares Act funding. The Request for Proposal period will begin in November.

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