CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WJZY) — In just seven days, six juveniles have been arrested and hit with a slew of charges, including first-degree murder in Charlotte.
Four of those arrests came early Tuesday morning and early Tuesday afternoon.
On Tuesday morning, CMPD announced that they had arrested and charged two juveniles in the alleged murder of Sharod Armstrong. Those two individuals joined two other youths and a 41-year-old man with connections to this case.
On Tuesday afternoon, authorities arrested two juveniles for their alleged involvement in the death of seventeen-year-old Damien Rodriguez early in November.
These kids face charges of attempted murder, robbery with a dangerous weapon, and conspiracy to commit murder and theft.
When word got out that the crimes involved youth, area juvenile mentorship group leaders reacted.
“Right now we are in a crisis,” Life Connections of the Carolinas mentor Alma Moore told Queen City News. “We have youth who are angry.”
Moore has worked with the Charlotte organization for the past eight years. She encourages youth to obtain their GED, job hunting, and hobby finding. Her team helps juveniles find positive influences at times when they need them.
Moore feels that “these are not kids who are at risk. “Rather, see shes them as “marginalized” kids.
“I’ve got kids who are constantly being detained,” Moore added. “They get out, and they have nothing to go to. Nowhere to really go to. You’ve got parents who aren’t parenting.”
Moore started with a client list of four juveniles who needed service in Charlotte eight years ago. She started the 2022 fiscal year with a cap size of about 60 minors she could help. Now, she has 80 children to help, with another 40 on a waitlist.
“We need to do better about having tangible resources for our youth. We’re not doing what we can do,” Moore explained.
Of her clientele, 88 percent come directly from juvenile court counselor referrals. Some, including three of her most recent referrals, have been children she’s also tried to help.
“I’m seeing a rise in youth that are 12, 13, 14, and they’re hanging with the 16- and 17-year-olds now,” Moore said.
Her organization and juvenile clients feel the effects of a lack of volunteers and funding. They’d like to give each child their full, undivided attention but can’t when faced with the facts.
“You just can’t turn them down, but you have to have the funds for that,” she added.
Moore needs about 25 more volunteers to help serve the 150 juveniles her team expects to see over the next few months.
To find out how you can volunteer, or if you’d like more information about Life Connections of the Carolinas, click here.