Community calls for change as teen violence rises in Lansing

Community calls for change as teen violence rises in Lansing
Published: Mar. 23, 2022 at 7:16 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 23, 2022 at 7:18 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Community activists are calling for change to address teen violence in Lansing.

The call comes after a 20-year-old was killed in a shooting at a Lansing bus stop Wednesday morning.

Police said both suspects, a 14-year-old boy and a 16-year-old boy, were taken into custody after a short chase.

It’s the second shooting in a week that involved teenagers in Lansing.

“It’s tragic,” said Robert Merrit, with the Lansing Police Department. “It’s uncalled for and here we are, in broad daylight in the city of Lansing with gun violence.”

Police believe an argument at the bus stop led to the shooting.

“We feel that parents’ pain,” said Michael McKissic. ‘We been feeling it for the past seven years since 2015, since Michael was murdered.”

McKissic, with the Mikey 23 Foundation, lost his own son to violence. He said it’s that pain that keeps him fighting for the communities’ youth and what he’s seeing is a lack of care.

“Children are like a garden right? Unattended -- what happens to the gardens unattended? The weeds take over,” McKissic said. “Basically that’s what we’re seeing.”

The Mikey 23 Foundation keeps young people engaged to keep crime off the streets, but McKissic said the best way to support young people is to include them in discussions.

“We need to listen to their voices,” McKissic said. “And let’s see what their concerns are and let’s see how can we help you stop the violence that’s going on amongst their peers. That’s what we need to do. We need listen to their voices and we’re not doing that.”

He said including children in the conversations will help the entire community, not just young people.

“By me, coming from a community like this, being born and raised, I see the beauty of Lansing and what it was and what it should be,” McKissic said.

Police believe Wednesday’s shooting was an isolated incident, but the investigation is ongoing.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Lansing Police Department at 517-483-4600 or Det. Matt Salmon at 517-483-6855.

Related: Lansing police to receive $1.3 million for crisis team

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