Teen Suspects In Murder Cases Prompt Questions: What Can We Do? - NBC4: Columbus, Ohio News, Weather, and Sports (WCMH-TV)

Teen Suspects In Murder Cases Prompt Questions: What Can We Do?

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A pair of murders have occurred in the last few weeks, and in each case, a teen is suspected of pulling the trigger.

The latest, a 14-year-old, is the suspect in the murder of a 64-year-old man in southeast Columbus.

"The start of this organization came off of the summer of 2010. I don't want to go back to that," Brandyn McElroy, Vice-Chair for The Coalition of a Nonviolent Columbus said.

There are many, including McElroy who are working hard to get the statistics turned around, especially when it comes to the age of some of the suspects.

"We have to focus in on going even younger, ready to reach out to organizations starting at a younger age," McElroy said.

Young is all that Doug Shoemaker sees. He is a Franklin County magistrate in juvenile court.

"Sure, it is always shocking, always discomforting. It is terrible, affects so many people," Shoemaker said.

Those in the profession of mental health say some of it is recognizing potential problems, and developing a support system, but it goes beyond that, some of it has to do with brain development.

"That part of the brain that is immature has to do with planning, judgment, and forethought, a kid shoots and they don't think things through," said Dr. Dan Davis, a forensic psychologist.

All recommend the same thing: look for warning signs, reach out to organizations that can help, and work to get these kids back on the right track, because it can happen.

"It's not what commonly people think, the kids can't be helped, it is far from that," Davis said.

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