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"What is the cause?" - Mobile councilman questions reason behind teen violence

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"What is the cause?" - Mobile councilman questions reason behind teen violence (WPMI)

Murder, armed robberies, and aggravated assaults are some of the charges the youth in our area face.

One local city councilman wants to get to the bottom of why the crimes are even happening.

Nineteen-year-old Jamarkus Holifield was charged with murder after police say he opened fire at a teen party.

Eighteen-year-old Darryl Campbell and 17-year-old Justin Lambert both were charged with shooting an elderly man and stealing his car because he was "an easy target."

It's a familiar trend, teenagers being charged with violent crimes.

"What is the cause of it," Mobile City Councilman Fred Richardson asked.

Richardson says leaders need to get to the root of the problem and address it.

"If we can't determine the cause we can't stop it," he said. "Was it that he dropped out of school, couldn't get a job, was approached by a drug dealers, became one them?"

"If they don't believe that they can achieve then they are going to choose an entirely different route, a route that may be more related with crime," Accel Day and Evening Academy Superintendent Dr. Jeremiah Newell said.

Newell says one of their focuses is to offer other options and encourage young people to stay in school.

"As a community of Mobilians, we have got to come up with new and successful ways to give young people the best shot to earning a high school diploma," he said.

As the crimes continue, Richardson says if no one wants to get to the root of the problem, he may do it himself.

"I'm going to talk with Sheriff Cochran and see if me and my team can come in and set up an interview with these young kids that are committing these murders and find out from them what's going on," Richardson said. "I'm not going to stop until I get to the bottom of it."

Last month, NBC 15 News hosted a town hall called "Breaking the Cycle." It looked at the revolving door where kids are in and out of the court system, focusing on the youth and crime in our area.