NLVPD and crime tape

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NORTH LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Another shooting involving young children in North Las Vegas is rocking the valley.

Early Saturday morning, police said two men walked up to a house and shot inside, hitting a 9-year-old girl and a 15-year-old boy.

Now many in the community are calling for change before more children are hurt.

Pastor Troy Martinez is a familiar face in local efforts to combat youth violence.

Last week, he met with Metro’s gang unit and North Las Vegas police to talk about the growing problem that he now considers a crisis.

Martinez works with gang members, at-risk youth and their families to intervene, but he knows what happens if he is too late.

“We’re going to be doing funerals in the near future and we don't want to do no more,” he said.

Martinez said one of the problems is trying to keep up with the quickly-evolving gang culture in the valley. The new trends can be hard for parents to spot.

“We’ve seen this since the 1980s and 90s in Los Angeles and Chicago, where gangs and others will literally shoot into homes indiscriminately,” he said. “And that is terrifying to see in our community right here in Las Vegas.”

On Nov. 1 in North Las Vegas, five people targeted the wrong home as part of gang retaliation, shooting and killing an innocent 11-year-old girl.

“There is a sound that you would never want to hear. And that is the sound of a mother crying for her lost child,” Martinez said. “Crying, screaming out for that child that is gone forever because somebody pulled a trigger at a moment that they were angry or they were pressured by some other gang or crew. Whatever you want to call it, there is no difference. It's wicked and it's evil.”

Then on Nov. 6, Metro police said a 20-year-old was killed walking down the street with his girlfriend in another crime of retaliation.

Martinez knows the victim and his family personally.

“It is at a point where we need to consider this a literal emergency,” he said.

Last week, a Junior at Legacy High was killed outside a convenience store. His mother said this was not the result of a gun war, rather her son previously got into fights over girls.

Then on Saturday, two men walked up to a North Las Vegas home and shot inside.

The 9-year-old and 15-year-old shot suffered non-life threatening injuries.

FOX5 reached out to family members of the two children, who said right now they want to focus on the kids.

“The amount of young children being shot in their own home, it's frightening,” Martinez said. “It's literally sending fear to parents and grandparents. People are wondering if they're safe in their own house, if their children are safe. We are out of control.”

Martinez said the problem is bigger than one child or one family.

“We cannot expect law enforcement to do it alone,” he said. “It has to be all of us to solve this urgent crisis. This is a crisis. We need churches, schools, parents, congressmen, assemblymen, our mayor, law enforcement working together to solve this problem right now. Not tomorrow, right now.”

Martinez is having an emergency meeting with law enforcement, lawmakers and other valley community groups on Monday.

Pastor Troy reaches out to at-risk youth and their families through his organization 10,000 Kids: http://www.10000kids.org/

Copyright 2018 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved

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