Concern grows after teen gun deaths in Union City | News
UNION CITY, Ga. -- Concern is growing in Union City after the loss of two young lives to gunfire. City leaders and residents say its raises questions about how kids so young are involved with guns.
According to police, the shootings are not related, just similar: two 15-year-olds who had friends in common. Benson West was accidentally shot and killed Monday night; Amira Cameron was murdered while gathered outside with friends on Sunday.
“We express our condolences to the family,” said Union City Councilman Brian Jones. “No mother or father wants to bury their child -- 15 years old. They still had so much life ahead of them.”
Benson died in what police call an accidental shooting. His 17-year-old friend Ja’Quan Perry is charged with involuntary manslaughter and reckless conduct. Police say he was showing off a gun when it fired, hitting Benson in the chest.
“I am concerned. The city council is concerned, but we have to have community involvement,” Jones said. “I can't do it by myself. I need the community's help. We have to have more watchful eyes. We have to have more parental involvement. These things are important in raising these children.”
Police are also frustrated. As they search for the gunman in Amira's case, they say their time is being wasted with fake emergency calls.
“We’ve received multiple prank calls serious incidents where a person has been shot or killed,” said Union City Police Officer Chris Murphy.
At noon on Monday, multiple patrol cars came to check out a reported shooting at the Landings at Oak Hill apartments on a report of a shooting. They didn't find anything, but just four hours later they were called again to the same complex, but a different building where they found Benson West shot dead.
“It’s concerning when you have a 17-year-old with a gun,” Jones said. “How many other 17-year-olds have a gun as well?”
Police are working with their 911 center to determine who is making the false calls.