Youth counselor, police weigh in on 14-year-old charged in connection with Danville homicide
Teen facing multiple charges, including gang participation
DANVILLE, Va. – Spray-painted markings can still be seen on the pavement in the 400 block of Moffett Street where 23-year-old Louis Glenn was found shot to death last Thursday.
Stevie Johnson Jr., 18, and a 14-year-old are now each facing multiple charges for the death.
The 14-year-old has been charged with criminal street gang participation.
"The 14-year-old is not an anomaly. The gangs specifically target younger juveniles," Danville Police Department Capt. Dennis Haley said.
Haley said gang members know that juveniles will get less of a sentence than an adult, unfortunately making juveniles ideal for committing crimes.
"(The juvenile is) 14 years old and at best, until he's an adult he's going to be incarcerated. That's not normal and that's not what we want from our society," Haley emphasized.
Jonathan Evans, director of the Danville office for Family Insights counseling service, has worked with kids at Danville's juvenile detention center.
He believes a lack of mentorship and communication are the primary reasons kids find themselves in trouble.
"A lack of mentoring, older adult mentoring," Evans said.
"Also, a lack of communication with parents and parents communicating with the adolescence, or their kids, and kind of finding out where they are and what they're doing and spending quality time with them."
While he believes addressing these issues is the first step in the fight to keep juveniles out of crime, it's not the only step.
He also believes youth services providers and the community need to come together to from programs to help meet the needs of kids in the community.
"We really need to form a gang intervention and prevention program," Evans said.
Something that could go a long way towards helping reduce the city's gang problem.
Faith Stamps, Danville Boys and Girls Club executive director, emphasized Thursday the importance of getting kids involved in organizations like the Boys and Girls Club.
She said it provides a safe environment for kids and the club's activities really have a positive impact on the kids, encouraging them to participate in the club.
"I think our kids find, once they walk through our doors, how the opportunities present themselves to go on field trips that they wouldn't have been able to go on, or college tours, and experience things that they probably would not have experienced if they had not joined the club," Stamps said.
Both teens remained in custody Thursday.
Police have not said what, if any, connection there is between the two or between the teens and the victim.
The investigation into the death continues.
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