Bishop Marcus Campbell was devastated when he saw the mugshot of 16-year-old David Mays flash across his television screen.
“To continuously see this cycle of killings and criminal activity, it really hurts,” said Campbell, senior pastor at The Church at Mt. Carmel.
Mays is wanted for shooting Uber driver Brian Redden Wednesday night in an attempted carjacking, according to police.
Campbell recognized the teen.
He says Mays was supposed to be part of his 12-week G.A.N.G program. G.A.N.G stands for “Gentlemen and Not Gangsters.”
It’s a mandatory mentoring program for kids on probation in juvenile court.
“We try to change the way they look at things in order for them not to be repeat offenders,” Campbell said.
But the pastor says Mays never showed up.
“I was wondering ‘What could we have done?'” Campbell said.
Police say Mays has a long rap sheet, including two counts of aggravated robbery last summer.
Campbell says while he doesn’t believe in locking teens up for the rest of their lives, he thinks more needs to be done.
“I do believe some of them need a harsher punishment,” Campbell said. “I think for some of them a little slap on the wrist don’t work for everybody.”
He also says there needs to be more community outreach and that people need to secure their guns.
“People need to be more responsible by locking their cars so kids won’t be able to break in there and steal guns out of the cars,” he said.
Whatever the solution is, Campbell says it won’t come overnight.
“It’s gonna take a little time to unbreak the cycle that we see going on with our youth right now,” Campbell said.