LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Two teens faced a judge Wednesday to hear charges related to the shooting death of a 22-year-old man in Lansing during the weekend.
Aiden Wilson, 16, and Bradli Stoutmiles, 18, face 13 felony charges for what prosecutors say was the death of Jose Manuel De Jesus Flores. Wilson was charged as an adult.
The Ingham County prosecutor says young people are responsible for many local shooting incidents.
Prosecutor John Dewane says he’s seen the form of gangs change during his more than 20-year career. They are no longer nationally organized groups, but rather smaller bands of people.
“It’s more loosely organized neighborhood affiliations with a select group of individuals committing most of our gun violence in our community right now, retaliatory gun violence,” he said.
Dewane says his biggest concern is who is taking part in that gun violence and the number of guns they have access to.
“We’re talking about young people as young as 12 or 13 who are carrying semi-automatic weapons, weapons with magazine clips holding 50 rounds, 100 rounds,” said Dewane.
Dewane says Advance Peace is an initiative brought in a couple of years ago to the Lansing area to identify people responsible for these types of gun crimes and then work to curb the violence.
Faith leaders like Pastor Terrence J. King are also invested. In 2021, he met with pastors from around the city to create a team that not only hopes to slow the violence but address its root causes.
“The community at large, our family, are feeling the frustration and the weight of this,” said Pastor King.
Pastor King says the Assembly of Lansing Pastors has grown since its first meeting nearly two years ago. He says his group is finalizing the details of new initiatives focused on addressing poverty and gun violence.