Record high U.S. youth homicides and suicides

Published: Oct. 2, 2023 at 8:14 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - According to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), gun-related homicides and suicides among young people are at a record high.

According to the CDC, the United States is seeing record numbers of firearm-related deaths in children and teens ages 1-18. There were 2,279 gun-related homicides in children and teens in 2021, which is double the number of deaths from the previous decade.

“We’re seeing numbers that are very staggering and scary where youth and young adult suicide is concerned,” ECU Police Captain, Chris Sutton said.

Guns have been the leading cause of death in children and teens since 2020 and account for 19 percent of child deaths in 2021, according to CDC data. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, there have been 57 school shootings including deaths from 2021 to 2022.

“It is at an alarming rate as far as the homicide and suicide rate. I think it starts with the home first though, and I could be wrong about this but I feel like a lot of kids aren’t being supervised like they should. I work with kids and a lot of them aren’t receiving the love that they crave and it’s leading them on another path,” parent, Toni Oates said.

According to CNN data analysis, school shootings make up a smaller percentage of child and teen deaths, however, it has been on an incline since 2017 and is something that is on many school’s radar. CDC data also shows suicide by firearm was up 11 percent since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nowadays, there are outreach programs for students and parents if they have concerns. On ECU’s campus, they have a Live Safe app where you can reach out if you or someone you know is struggling.

HELP IS AVAILABLE: Speak with someone today

988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline


Someone is available 24 hours a day.