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Families ask for more help and resources to steer teens away from crime

A vigil was held for teens killed in a Monday morning crash.

MINNEAPOLIS — Just steps away from the intersection of North Emerson Ave. and North 18th Ave. in Minneapolis, family members stood alongside community activists at the place where three teens lost their lives.

 “I deeply feel like there could have been something to prevent this,” says a family member of one of the teens. “School's been closed, kids have too much time on their hands, everybody scared of COVID-19 so our kids are getting into negative activities,” says John Martin, a community activist.

RELATED: Families mourn after fatal high-speed chase

But he’s not alone. Several other community groups have been standing by and showing up ready to help. “When there’s young people involved there are a bunch of young people out grieving and you’ll barely see adults and you’ll see this at the funerals,” says Lisa Clemons of A Mother’s Love Initiative.

Early Monday morning, Minneapolis police say they spotted a car recognized as being stolen in what they are calling a “carjacking with force." 

Following a pursuit, police say the driver of the car lost control, leaving behind shards of glass – killing all three teens inside.  

Family members say the teens were between the ages of 13 and 16. “I know the situation with them hijacking a car and all of that ... kids are kids,” says a family member. “It ain’t right, but nothing they were doing was right.”

These families are now asking for help. “At the end of the day we need to pray for the woman that was carjacked and make sure that trauma is being addressed with her, and these three kids,” says Clemons.

Clemons says more needs to be done to provide activities for teens to steer them away from crime. 

"A Mother’s Love Initiative members came together to ask for and demand an at risk youth center, and to address issues in the age group that is the forgotten group,” says Clemons.

As family members continue to visit the site where three lives were lost, they’re worried about the future of their sons and daughters, and fear they’re heading down the same path. 

“They not going to learn from this and that’s the scary part," says a family friend. “And a mother like me, who got a 13-year-old, I’m scared for my son. This was his best friend.”