CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A Live 5 News investigation reveals a dangerous trend in teen violence.
This week, a 16 and 15 year old boy were charged with shooting a man in his car in the parking lot of Northwoods Mall.
"These young men, they had it in mind for a long period of time to be what they want to be, the thug life, the gangster life is what they choose," said North Charleston Police Deputy Chief Reggie Burgess.
Teen on teen violence is a huge problem for police. But just how bad is it? Files of almost seven months of incident reports and court affidavits for this year paint an alarming picture: a 14-year-old boy arrested for a shooting in West Ashley back in February; a 13-year-old girl charged with shooting a 15-year-old girl in North Charleston in March.
"Young people need to understand it's not like television. You don't get shot today on TV and again next week," said North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey.
Some of the crimes were deadly.
In April, 16-year-old Ty'Quan President was gunned down while riding his bicycle in North Charleston. A 21-year-old man was arrested for his murder.
In June, 17-year-old Brandon Bennett was stabbed to death at his home on Congress Street. Terrell Smith, 18, was charged with his murder.
Then there are three teen murders that remain unsolved.
In June, 19-year-old Ariel Morgan was shot dead at a block party near Moncks Corner. Also in June, 15-year-old Alonza Williams was ambushed outside a home in Ladson. On July 4, 19-year-old Terrence McNeil was gunned down in his car and crashed into a home in Hanahan.
Community leaders say it will take tougher gun laws to send a message to young criminals.
"These young people today know that they can carry a gun and they will take that opportunity, they will use it and they will be back on the street," Mayor Summey said.