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CHOP Doctors Adding Another Layer Of Support To Families Of Children Impacted By Rising Youth Gun Violence

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Friday's homicide in Logan followed another violent night in the city. Nine people were shot in less than three hours. Among the victims, three children, including a 15-year-old boy. He's in critical condition after getting shot multiple times.

According to the Office of the Controller, which is tracking city violence, there have been 162 children under 18 shot in Philadelphia this year. It's an alarming statistic that brings to mind so many questions and issues like are guns and violence becoming normal for children?

The rising number of child shooting victims throughout the city is a cause for alarm. Doctors at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia treat these young victims for their injuries, but they also provide an outlet to support them after they leave their care.

"I see from it from both ends," Dr. Joel Fein, an emergency medicine physician at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, said.

Fein is also part of the Center For Violence Prevention at CHOP.

Not only does he see more and more child gunshot victims coming through the ER, but he also compiles the research that may help prevent the disturbing trend.

"In 2020, we saw twice as many kids shot by firearms than we did in 2019," Fein said. "We saw quite a number of kids either shot in the street or in a home by a loaded gun."

While doctors provide the triage, Philadelphia police are working to stay ahead of the gun violence plaguing young people in the city who are often unintended targets.

Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw sent CBS3 this statement in reference to Thursday's violent night. It reads, in part, "Amongst the nine people that were shot yesterday, three were homicides and three were children, ages 11, 12 and 15 -- children who were injured during unsolicited attacks. While we are hopeful that the surviving victims' injuries will heal, the fact remains that these lives are forever changed."

CHOP's Center For Violence Prevention adds another layer of support to the families of children impacted by gun violence. Most will live with the mental and physical scars for the rest of their lives.

"For the children that are injured by gunshots, we also provide wraparound care through our violence intervention program, which is a hospital-based violence and prevention program that wraps around the family and the child to support them through injury," Fein said.

Right now, the city is seeing a 17% increase in homicides compared to this point last year. No arrests have been made in any of Thursday night's shootings.

For a list of gun violence resources in Philadelphia, click here.

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