The gun was for protection, a 15-year-old gang member said.
He took the loaded 45-caliber handgun, which he said he bought on the streets for $75, to Franklin Park Mall on March 8 just in case the Manor Boyz, Bloods, were there. They were, and the boy, a member of the Geer Gang Crips, told Lucas County Juvenile Judge Connie Zemmelman the Manor Boyz were coming after him. That is why he fired off multiple rounds in a mall parking lot, he said.
On Tuesday, the boy admitted to all of the charges against him: inducing panic, participating in a criminal gang, and carrying a concealed weapon. Judge Zemmelman found him delinquent and ordered him assessed by the Lucas County Youth Treatment Center to determine if placement in the lockdown facility would be appropriate. Those sentenced to the treatment center spend 6 months in treatment and do more months of treatment after release.
Assistant Lucas County Prosecutor Lori Olender, who oversees the juvenile division, said she could have filed a felonious assault charge with a gun specification against the teen, but did not because he admitted to the other charges. At least one car in the parking garage was struck by a bullet, Ms. Olender said. No injuries were reported.
“This is so serious,” the judge told the boy. “You’re 15. You have a loaded gun at the mall. There’s tons of people. You’re involved in gangs.” Judge Zemmelman said she hopes the treatment center will determine he is a good fit for the program and that he takes advantage of the rehabilitation.
“If you work the program, you’ll come out a better person on the right path,” she said. “If you don’t work the program, you’ll either go to DYS [Department of Youth Services] or you’ll end up as an adult in prison, or you’ll be dead early.”
The boy is scheduled for an April 10 disposition.