After a 19 year old was shot several times early Friday morning near Wheatley Middle School, east side activists say that the community needs to make an effort to keep teenagers occupied during the summer months now that school has let out.
The 19 year old was last known to be in stable condition at SAMMC, where medics say that he was shot seven times. According to a police report, the teen was with friends at an apartment complex when they say a stranger approached them and started shooting.
"The summer hasn't even started yet and we're already having somebody getting shot. So I know San Antonio very well, and people who are involved in the community, they know this community very well and they're concerned," said Walter Perry, a former gang member and convicted felon from the east side who now works as a community activist trying to help teenagers stay off the streets.
Perry believes that one way to solve the east side's problems is to have more home owners as opposed to renters, people who are willing to take pride in their neighborhoods and not see their blocks as a temporary home. He also says that economic development is key to stimulating growth and prosperity and getting teens off the streets.
"We need to find a way to circulate our money in this district, and the only way to do that is we have to have things that we like to go to and we have to have people who are willing to invest over here," he said. "And if we don't, we're going to have more 19 year olds getting shot."