Teenagers Obtaining Illegal Guns For 'Survival': Community Advocate

New York City Police DepartmentOcean Hill

In the summer, where gun violence is a big issue playgrounds are quickly emerging as the shooting range of choice. 

On Monday night, a 16-years-old gunman rode his bike to Fish Playground and seconds later pedaled away with four people shot to the ground.

Community advocate Tony Herbert says there is one force that is driving the violence, "Survival.  It's all about survival."

A NYPD officer on patrol stated that they are seeing more and more teens not intimidated by the NYPD.  Teens who will pull the trigger without guilt.

Summer months tend to produce more gunfire, but in stats attained by PIX 11 News regarding shootings from June 1st to August 12th the number of incidents are down by 4% in the 73rd precinct.

Yet the question still remains, how in one of the most economically depressed sectors of the city are teens attaining illegal guns?

"That's the question," says Herbert who adds, "Where do they get the money to buy $200 sneakers? Ask yourself that. You buy a little handgun, a 25 or something like that for $100 now."

Monday evening's shooting hit too close to home for 35-year-old Tayla Victoria.  It was just a month ago that bullets whizzed by her two-year-old daughter Yvonnie, missing the toddler but striking her ten-year-old sister.  "She is fine, she is fine," says Victoria when asked of her condition.

However, if random bullets are triggering new fears.  So is the specter that it can happen anywhere.  In Victoria's case a teenage chump rolled up to her group and started spraying, "The guy just walked up and started shooting," says Taylor. 

In her opinion, there is no safe haven from flying bullets in her Ocean Hill neighborhood, "I don't think there is nowhere safe.  I don't even think in a supermarket you can be safe.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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