OUR VIEW: 13 year old charged with murder latest proof that LaGrange is experiencing a youth violence crisis

Published 9:30 am Wednesday, April 26, 2023

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It’s the type of headline you never want to write, that frankly you never expect to write.

“Thirteen-year-old charged with murder.”

However, there it was, on our website and across many media outlets Monday after The LaGrange Police Department released information on young murder suspect, Jayden Gunsby. 

He is being charged as an adult in the shooting death of 20-year-old Davaris Lindsey, which occurred on Easter, a day where most people are in church and spending time with their families.

A court of law will ultimately hear this case, but no matter how it turns out, it’s a sad situation. A 13-year-old, someone who hasn’t really even had a chance to know what life is, is being investigated in a murder case. Gunsby hasn’t even had a chance to go to high school yet. He doesn’t have a driver’s license. But he’s a murder suspect. Let that sink in. 

Not to be lost in the arrest of a young child is the fact that Lindsey and his family deserve justice after he was shot multiple times on McGregor Street on that tragic April 9 day. 

The LPD has said the case remains active, meaning other suspects could be identified and arrested. 

But as it stands, this arrest serves as a glaring example of LaGrange’s obvious problem with youth violence right now. 

We’re only in April, but two people 16 and younger have been killed in our community. Another two have been charged with murder, just in these three incidents. 

Nasir Truitt, a 16-year-old, was killed earlier this year near Southbend Park. A 15-year-old, Brandon Harrison Jr., was arrested in that case.

In February, a 15-year-old, Quendarrious Woodyard, was killed in a shooting near Hadley Street.

That’s four people, under the age of 16, who are either dead from the result of a shooting or are facing very serious charges related to murder investigations.

Each situation was different. The circumstances of each crime stand alone, but it’s hard not to group them together when you consider the ages of those involved.

We certainly hope this trend ends, but we’re not confident. 

It’s not even summer yet, which is typically when juvenile crimes increase nationwide since minors are out of school with more time on their hands. 

People will throw blame around. Some will blame city leadership, law enforcement, schools, parenting, perhaps even video games and today’s culture. 

Honestly, we think we all know the answer to fix this violence isn’t cut and dry. It’s not just one thing. 

While the answers aren’t as clear, the reality is much clearer.  

All of these kids should be worried about studying for an upcoming test, tryouts for a sports team or who to ask to the next school dance. Instead, two of them are dead and two others may have thrown away their future.

Why is this happening in our community?