STOCKTON (CBS13) — Violent crime committed by young people in Stockton is causing alarm for police and the community.
On Thursday, about 20 people from eight organizations met to discuss ways to reduce gun crimes in the city. The organizer says the need for results is greater than ever.
In a matter of days, kids in Stockton have been accused of committing heinous crimes.
Eric Lamar Sloan, 14, is wanted in the killing of Chris Combs outside of Stockton Food 4 Less.
On Thursday, a 12-year-old boy was arrested for a brazen attempted robbery of a convenience store. Police acted on tips to pick him up at school.
“It is a little unusual to see young age kids such as 12 years old going out and committing an armed robbery at a gas station,” said Joe Silva with the Stockton Police Department.
This week, police say two teens aged 16 and 17 were arrested for an armed carjacking that happened in the Woody’s Market parking lot on East Section Rd.
“We cannot prevent every one of those things, but we can certainly reach out and try and prevent them some of the other incidents from happening,” said Julie Schardt.
She is the head of a coalition of multiple organizations that was recently formed to tackle gun violence in the city.
“What is missing to them that they feel like they need to do something like this,” questioned Schardt.
The group held its second meeting on Thursday. It’s the beginning of a multi-layered approach to identify and prevent future gun crimes.
Creating strong family units and community support are some of the strategies being discussed.
“Maybe we missed that 14-year-old, but there will be a lot of other people that we will reach and be able to be steered in a different direction,” said Schardt.
Dangerous crimes by the city’s younger members still an unsettling reality.
“If we’re frustrated we can’t let the frustration slow us down. Because we see something definite that needs to be done,” said Schardt.
Mayor Michael Tubbs wrote in a text message “Every loss of life is heartbreaking, but our community is more resolute than ever to end this cycle of violence.
The message goes on to list the millions of dollars that have been invested in anti-violence programs and the implementation of new programs.