CHATHAM — Shooters are getting younger in Chicago, said Police Supt. Eddie Johnson.
The average age of a shooter now is just 15 or 16 years old, Johnson told a crowd of people at Simeon Career Academy on Saturday morning.
"... When I started as a patrolman in 1988, the average age of our shooters [was] 19, 20 years old," Johnson said. "Right now, the average is 15, 16 years old."
That young age means many of those shooters aren't living on their own, paying rent or bills, Johnson said: Instead, they're living with parents or guardians who can intervene to help quell the violence.
Parents aren't the only ones who can help, said Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Johnson at Saturday's event, the two calling on politicians, religious leaders, community members and school leaders to reach out to young people to help stop the violence.
"Our kids should not grow up thinking it's normal to hear gunfire every day," Johnson said.
About 42 percent of the people murdered in Chicago so far this year were younger than 24, and many of them died in shootings, according to a DNAinfo Chicago analysis. So far, more than 215 people have been killed.
Shootings and homicides have seen a sharp uptick so far this year, and Anita Alvarez, Cook County state's attorney, predicted the city could see 700 murders if the violence continues.
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