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Teen shot in Northview Heights

On Monday afternoon,  a 15-year old teen, Jerome Williams was shot by police during an altercation in Northview Heights.  You can read the story full story here:  http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10271/1090894-53.stm

According to Pittsburgh Police Chief Nate Harper, Police officers responded to a phone call concerning a robbery in the neighborhood and there was a chase.  Jerome, who had a gun, was told to drop it, and instead fired shots in the direction of the officers, who the returned fire. During the shooting, Jerome was struck and killed. Thus ended the life of a 15-year old teen. In the words of Chief Harper, “Any time life is taken, it is a tragedy.”

Increasingly in the world of teens today, death is not an event reserved exclusively  for grandparents and the elderly. We all know, however distantly, a young person who met an untimely end. When I first moved to Pittsburgh in 1993 a member of our junior class at Peabody High School was killed and the entire school was in mourning. After I graduated in 1994, a former classmate, who I’d sat in front of every day in homeroom was killed in Garfield. Whether someone got mixed up in something they shouldn’t have, or just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, they leave behind people who are devastated, who cared for and loved them, and who must now deal with their loss.

In literature as in life: here are a few titles about teens who either met an untimely end, or who got on the wrong side of the law (or were tempted to.)

Tyrell

by Coe Booth

Fifteen-year-old Tyrell, who is living in a Bronx homeless shelter with his spaced-out mother and his younger brother, tries to avoid temptation so he does not end up in jail like his father.

Tears of a Tiger

by Sharon Draper

The death of high school basketball star Rob Washington in an automobile accident affects the lives of his close friend Andy, who was driving the car, and many others in the school.

Shooter

by Walter Dean Myers

Written in the form of interviews, reports, and journal entries, the story of three troubled teenagers ends in a tragic school shooting.

Homeboyz

Seventeen-year-old Teddy Anderson, who is known on the streets as T-Bear, decides to seek revenge on the person responsible for his little sister’s death, which was caused by a stray bullet from a semiautomatic handgun.

by Alan Lawrence Sitomer

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