Nov 18, 2009

Teenagers With Guns

A sad story has emerged from the Bronx this week, in which a 15-year-old girl from the Morrisania neighborhood, Vada Vasquez, was shot by a 16-year-old boy with no criminal record. The young man, Carvette Gentile, was one amongst a group of young men awaiting to enact revenge on another boy as a result of a fight inside Riker's Island Jail, and has admitted full responsibility.

"According to [Police Commissioner] Kelly, all of the suspects except for the shooter have a long criminal record. 'They were handing off the gun from one to the other, we believe they were attempting to get the weapon to the shooter, Carvette Gentile, because he had no criminal record,' Kelly said." (NY1 News)

This tragic story demonstrates that gang networks continue to facilitate close connections between jail facilities and street life -- and that there need to be other options for 16-year-olds like Carvette, who go from no contact to full contact with the justice system as a result of their participation in gang activities. This boy-child likely had no idea what he was getting into; now, a girl just one year younger than he is in an induced coma as a result of his actions.