Minnesota Police Chief Pleas for Responsible Parenting After Fatal Shooting Involving Minors
Minnesota's 4th of July holiday weekend turned tragic when the Duluth Police Department reported through social media that at approximately 9:23 p.m., Saturday, July 2, officers were dispatched to the area of N 16th Ave E and E 1st St for a report of a shooting.
When they arrived, they did discover a person had been shot. That person was then transported by Mayo Ambulance to a local hospital where the individual later died from injuries related to the shooting.
Duluth Police later provided an update indicating they had arrested a 17-year-old juvenile male without incident. The juvenile male was transported to Arrowhead Juvenile Center for pending charges of homicide. They added that the individual who died from injuries related to the shooting is also a 17-year-old male. They were both just months away from their 18th birthdays.
Sunday morning, as the Duluth Police Department continued to gather facts and "makes sense of the senseless", Duluth Police Chief Mike Tusken reached out to the community, particularly parents and guardians, regarding teens and guns.
His impassioned post on his official Facebook page read in part:
Why do our teenagers have guns and why are they being used to resolve conflict? What conversations are we having with our teenagers about guns? Do our teenagers know that they can come to us to share information if they have guns or know others who have guns and shouldn’t?
Do parents know they can provide information to law enforcement anonymously? What more do we as a community need to be doing to prevent the next tragedy?
In the past month, teenagers have been involved three separate incidents where guns were used in violence. That’s three too many and we don’t want another.
In Minnesota, a minor under age 18 generally may not possess a pistol or assault weapon, except under the supervision of a parent or guardian. Other exceptions include: while engaged in an official military drill; during supervised practice at an approved shooting range; and while participating in a state-approved marksmanship or safety program.
Talk to your teens, our teens, about guns and about safety. Make sure teens know our expectations that if another teen is carrying or possessing guns illegally to stay clear and report it. Say something for safety, say something to save a life.
I think his words need to reach all families across the Northland as we're not completely helpless here. We should all know what our options are to make to make the senseless violence stop. Even those who aren't parents or guardians can play an important role in this and Chief Tuksen's words should be taken to heart by all of us.
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