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    Teen Gun Violence Plagues Cities Big and Small

    by Charles Borst posted September 8, 2017

    Wilmington, Del., isn’t Chicago or Los Angeles, Baltimore or Detroit. It is a city of less than 72,000 people known primarily as the birthplace of chemical giant DuPont and as a cozy home for big banks and Fortune 500 firms. But an Associated Press and USA TODAY Network analysis of Gun Violence Archive data—gathered from media reports and police press releases, and covering a 3½-year period through June of this year—reveals that Wilmington far and away leads the country in its rate of shootings among young people under 18.

    Of the 10 cities with the highest rates of teen shootings, most had populations of less than 250,000 people. Among them were Savannah, Ga.; Trenton, N.J.; Syracuse, N.Y., Fort Myers, Fla.; and Richmond, Va. Chicago was the lone large-population city high on the list.

    Poverty and a sense of hopelessness in the most violent neighborhoods is a common thread. Syracuse, a university town that once cranked out air conditioners and televisions, now has a poverty rate of 35 percent.

    Others, like Savannah, are deeply divided. While its antebellum mansions, gnarled live oaks, and marble monuments to war heroes drew more than 13 million visitors last year, away from the picture-postcard oasis of Southern Charm the scenery here quickly shifts to decaying neighborhoods, abject poverty, and deadly violence.

    ADVANCE FOR USE FRIDAY, SEPT. 8, 2017 AND THEREAFTER-In this Oct. 19, 2016 photo, a boy rides a bicycle past "RIP" graffiti on a wall along West 3rd Street and North Broom in Wilmington, Del., an area where several shootings have occurred. In 2015, the CDC published what remains its only report about gun violence in a single American city, warning it was at "epidemic levels" and recommending a long list of steps for Wilmington and the state to follow. Despite early momentum, most of the CDC recommendations remain unfulfilled even as gun violence continues to plague the city and claim young lives. (Suchat Pederson/The Wilmington News-Journal via AP)

    A boy rides a bicycle past “RIP” graffiti on a wall in Wilmington, Del., in a neighborhood where several shootings have occurred. In 2015, the CDC published what remains its only report about gun violence in a single American city, warning it was at “epidemic levels” and recommending a long list of steps for Wilmington and the state to follow. Despite early momentum, most of the CDC recommendations remain unfulfilled even as gun violence continues to plague the city and claim young lives. Photo by Suchat Pederson/The Wilmington News-Journal via AP

    ADVANCE FOR USE FRIDAY, SEPT. 8, 2017 AND THEREAFTER-In this Aug. 8, 2017 photo, Tyzell Cephas, 23, accompanied by his wife, Takira Jones-Cephas, and cousin, Laqueen McDuffie, visits the grave of his 16-year-old sister, Tynesia, at Silverbrook Cemetery in Wilmington, Del. Tynesia was gunned down while trying to break up a fight on Wilmington's East Side. Her boyfriend and his family watched as she took her last breaths on a row home floor after being shot on Kirkwood Street. (Suchat Pederson/The Wilmington News-Journal via AP)

    Tyzell Cephas, 23, accompanied by his wife, Takira Jones-Cephas, and cousin, Laqueen McDuffie, visits the grave of his 16-year-old sister, Tynesia, at a cemetery in Wilmington. Tynesia was gunned down this summer while trying to break up a fight on the city’s East Side. Her boyfriend and his family watched as she took her last breaths on a row home floor after being shot. Photo by Suchat Pederson/The Wilmington News-Journal via AP

    ADVANCE FOR USE FRIDAY, SEPT. 8, 2017 AND THEREAFTER-In this Feb. 2, 2015 photo, Shareece White, mother of William Rollins VI, the 18-year-old gunned down Jan. 24, 2015, cries as she stands next to his casket during his funeral in Wilmington, Del. In 2015, the CDC published what remains its only report about gun violence in a single American city, warning it was at "epidemic levels" and recommending a long list of steps for Wilmington and the state to follow. Despite early momentum, most of the CDC recommendations remain unfulfilled even as gun violence continues to plague the city and claim young lives. (Suchat Pederson/The Wilmington News-Journal via AP)

    Shareece White, mother of William Rollins VI, cries as she stands next to her 18-year-old son’s casket during his funeral in 2015 in Wilmington. An Associated Press and USA TODAY Network analysis revealed that the city leads the country in shootings among young people under 18. Photo by Suchat Pederson/The Wilmington News-Journal via AP

    ADVANCE FOR USE FRIDAY, SEPT. 8, 2017 AND THEREAFTER-The Rev. Derrick Johnson, left, and Deacon Leonard Woods pray with gunshot victim Rayquan Briscoe behind his home in Wilmington, Del., on Tuesday, July 25, 2017. Although Briscoe said he’s never carried a gun himself, guns have had an outsized impact on his young life. In 2016, Briscoe's father was shot to death. Rayquan’s younger brother, Raymire, was just 14 when he was charged with murder in the May 2014 killing of a 29-year-old man; he pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to 15 years in prison. (AP Photo/Allen G. Breed)

    The Rev. Derrick Johnson, left, and Deacon Leonard Woods pray with Rayquan Briscoe, who was paralyzed in a shooting, behind his home in Wilmington. Although Briscoe said he’s never carried a gun himself, guns have had an outsized impact on his young life. In 2016, Briscoe’s father was shot to death. Rayquan’s younger brother, Raymire, was just 14 when he was charged with murder in the May 2014 killing of a 29-year-old man; he pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Photo by Allen G. Breed/AP

    ADVANCE FOR USE FRIDAY, SEPT. 8, 2017 AND THEREAFTER-In this July 27, 2017 photo, William Rollins V, left, and his wife Maria WIlliams sit in their living room in Wilmington, Del., the day after their teenage son and daughter were shot and wounded while standing on the front porch. "It's nonstop, just nonstop," said Rollins. "Around every turn, they're taking our kids." (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

    William Rollins V, left, and his wife, Maria WIlliams, sit in their living room in Wilmington, the day after their teenage son, Keshon, and daughter, Keishonna, were shot and wounded while standing on the front porch. “It’s nonstop, just nonstop,” said Rollins. “Around every turn, they’re taking our kids.” Photo by Patrick Semansky/AP

    ADVANCE FOR USE FRIDAY, SEPT. 8, 2017 AND THEREAFTER-In this July 27, 2017 photo, a bullet hole pierces a "no trespassing" sign at the home of William Rollins V and his wife, Maria WIlliams, in Wilmington, Del., the day after the home came under gunfire. Their teenage son and daughter were both shot and wounded in their legs during the shooting. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

    A bullet hole pierces a “no trespassing” sign at the home of William Rollins V and his wife, Maria WIlliams, the day after the home came under gunfire. Their teenage son and daughter were both shot and wounded in their legs during the shooting. Photo by Patrick Semansky/AP

    ADVANCE FOR USE FRIDAY, SEPT. 8, 2017 AND THEREAFTER-In this Aug. 9, 2017 photo, Keishonna Williams, age 18, uncovers a bandage revealing a bullet wound on her leg in Newark, Del. Williams and her brother Keshon were shot July 26 on the front porch of their home in nearby Wilmington, Del., a city that leads the country in shootings among young people under 18. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

    Keishonna Williams, 18, uncovers a bandage revealing a bullet wound on her leg. Williams and her brother Keshon were shot while sitting on the front porch of their home. Photo by Patrick Semansky/AP

    ADVANCE FOR USE FRIDAY, SEPT. 8, 2017 AND THEREAFTER-In this Aug. 9, 2017 photo, Keshon Williams, 16, poses for a photograph outside an apartment building where his family is living temporarily in Newark, Del. Williams, a resident of nearby Wilimington, Del., who was shot July 26, is part of an alarming statistic - an Associated Press and USA TODAY Network analysis revealed that Wilmington leads the country in shootings among young people under 18. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

    Keshon Williams, 16, was shot this summer while sitting on the front porch of his Wilmington home with his sister. Photo by Patrick Semansky/AP

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