Community leaders concerned over violence among Macon’s youth
MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Many community leaders are concerned after a surge of violent crimes involving youth in the community.
The Labor Day murder of a Macon teen happened in the middle of the day at the Chik-Fil-A on Bloomfield Road.
Though the person investigators believe is responsible is now behind bars, Sheriff David Davis and other community leaders are seeing this as a much bigger issue.
“They were teens accused of these crimes and that is somewhat troubling,” said Sheriff Davis.
County officials are beginning to see a disturbing pattern.
“Here recently, we seem to have had a string of incidents involving 16 and 17 year-olds and homicides,” said Mayor Robert Reichert.
With each passing week, more and more of Macon’s youth seem to be resorting to extreme violence.
“The callousness and the level of violence these individuals are willing to go to in order to settle their scores is disturbing,” Sheriff Davis told 41NBC.
Just two weeks ago, two teens were arrested in connection with the murders of two convenience store clerks.
“You have to wonder is this no longer another isolated incident, and instead, is there a deeper problem that we need to address?” Mayor Reichert said.
Then on Monday, 18 year-old Leonard Kendrick Spivey was gunned down by another teen–18 year-old Julian Charles Kongquee.
“In this case yesterday, we’re under the assumption that the victim from yesterday had been a suspect in the shooting incident last year that involved the suspect today,” Sheriff Davis explained.
Mayor Reichert says he’s talking with clergy in the community to find a solution.
“We really just talked around the edges about how we begin to address this,” he said.
Sheriff Davis says his deputies are working around the clock to solve crimes, but preventing them will take the entire community’s help.
“It’s what we can do to affect some of these families and be involved in these young people’s lives to keep them monitored and keep them on the right path,” said Davis.
He believes it’s partially the sheriff’s office’s responsibility to get active in the lives of Macon’s at-risk youth–along with the rest of the community. That’s why they offer several programs targeting kids and teens in the community.
They’re encouraging parents to get their kids involved.
Mayor Reichert says the Knight Foundation is partnering with them to host ‘On the Table’. It’s an event where community members can discuss issues with one another over a meal.