SEATTLE -- Seattle Police arrested and charged two teenagers in connection with a recent series of violent crimes.
Police say boys ages 16 and 14 are responsible for an armed carjacking on July 25. On the 26th, they're accused of robbing three people at gunpoint. In one case, a victim was pistol-whipped.
On July 27, officials say the teens were involved in several drive-by shootings; they were arrested after a chase.
Gene Rollins says his family woke up to gunshots during the crime spree. He lives along 51st Avenue South, where police say the teens shot up a home early Saturday morning. A 7-year-old child was injured.
"We were shocked to hear it," Rollins said.
Rollins says he was also shocked to hear the age of the suspects.
“That’s the scary part, realize kids are so young in the neighborhood and they do things in that nature."
Faduma Ahmed works with Bridging Cultural Gaps, which provides a diversion program for children involved in misdemeanor crimes to help get them back on track. While she focuses on the East African community, it's a problem definitely not confined to one group.
She says the problem in so many cases is that young people do not have positive outlets.
“How are we allocating our resources in the community? Where are we neglecting where are the gaps? How can we better fund our schools our social services?" she said
Ahmed says the work they are doing with East African communities is trying to intervene before it's too late. However, she says there can't be changed if the government and the actual neighborhoods don't also get behind the movement.
"I think it takes diligence and consistent effort," she said.
The two teens have been charged with several crimes. Q13 News is not identifying them because they are underage.
Police say a third teen, a 14-year-old girl, was also arrested. However, they released her after conducting interviews.