INDIANAPOLIS — Officers with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department responded to a shooting on the near east side Monday afternoon involving two juveniles.

According to a statement from IMPD, officers responded to a home near the intersection of N Rural St. and E 18th St. for a shooting. When officers arrived, they found a person with injuries caused by a gunshot wound. Officials said that they are awake and breathing.

IMPD confirmed with FOX59/CBS4 that both the victim and the suspect from the incident are under the age of 18.

According to previous reporting, the Circle City’s number of non-fatal juvenile homicides this year is on track to pass last year’s record. Our records through mid-July of 2023 show 31 juvenile non-fatal shooting victims and a total of 52 total last year.

Youth outreach advocate Anthoney Hampton said some teens just feel a sense of “hopelessness” and gun ultimately become a last resort.

“And that’s how the children feel; trapped,” Hampton described. “And so guns become a way to unlock whatever they’re going through for that moment.”

Hampton said there is a list of reasons that could explain this.

“It’s a gumbo,” he described. “A variety of problems that don’t give our children the chance to be children anymore. Parents, myself, politicians, society, music, video games.”

But he says the biggest issue and root cause is likely the growing poverty gap.

“Our children see what we present to them,” Hampton said. “And they struggle. And struggle feeds and breeds violence.”

Hampton said there needs to be a focus on getting programs and funding to the people and communities who really need it.