Lifetimes lost in 10 minutes or less… We must stop these wrong moves!

Almost every day, there are new headlines about local young people making the wrong decisions. Whether it is a criminal act or making a wrong move without thinking that leads to harm either for the young person or others who suffer from the person’s mistake. When you see sporadic headlines, you might miss the gravity of the problem. That is why I have decided to compile a list so readers can understand youth violence and crime is a threat to all of us.

I founded Be Someone Inc. in 2001 with the express purpose of mentoring and teaching young people how to make the right moves in their lives using the principles learned in the game of chess. Every time I see another sad story, I tell myself if I had just had the opportunity to work with this child, I could have stopped the resulting destruction of lives. I realize we don’t know the full story behind these tragic stories but I always ask… what if somehow, some way, someone could have made a difference. Think of this… a lifetime marred (at best), a lifetime lost (at worst) in 10 minutes. We all have a stake in this… our future! – Orrin Hudson

(Updated March 20, 2023)

Fight in school cafeteria ends in injuries to one, arrest to another – A dispute between two middle school girls in Henry County culminated in a physical altercation.  One of the girls was slashed by a sharp object of some kind under her eye resulting in transport to the hospital.  The girl causing the injury was arrested by officers.  Hudson:  What would you blame this on?  Immaturity? Impulsiveness? An inability to deal with reality?  Here is the reality this young person – maybe both – faces… a criminal record, possible monetary restitution, peer rejection (hopefully).  When she gets home and looks in the mirror, will be she be pleased with what she sees?  Will she have regrets?  Will she realize she brought shame on herself and family? We can only guess. Before she made the decision to commit a violent act in a very public place, do you think she ever considered consequences she might face?  At Be Someone Inc. we teach “make your next move your best move.” This is so sad.

Four teens, one a high school football player, arrested in shooting deaths – This is the worst kind of story because it is the worst kind of mistake.  Two young people died and seven others injured and four youngsters who should be looking at successful and exciting futures could be facing long prison terms.  This crime comes from Douglas County. A 14-year-old girl and a 15-year-old boy were killed when gunfire broke out in what authorities described as gang-related violence at a “Sweet 16 Party” that drew more than 100 teens to the Douglasville home.  The two victims were called innocent bystanders.  Those arrested included three 17-years-old and an 18-year-old.  Hudson:  This is what I would like to say to these four who will get their day in court, “Hey tough guys!  What were you trying to prove?  Did you once think someone might get  hurt because of  my actions?  Did you once think I might get in trouble for my actions? You could wake up tomorrow preparing to go to school to make something of yourself.  Instead, this is what you have been charged with:  “two counts of mass murder, nine counts of aggravated assault, and seven counts of aggravated battery. Other charges are pending including participation in gang activity.” Lives lost.  Lives thrown away because they could not think beyond the moment.  Needless. Senseless.

Update:  Mother of accused teen apologizes to families of dead and injured students.  Hudson: I just finished watching this news report.  This should be mandatory viewing for all parents and guardians of impressionable young people.  It should also be required viewing in our schools and other places where teens gather.  A remorseful mother apologizes for the actions of her son.  She is distraught.  Her baby is in trouble she can’t fix.  Her pain resonates. No parents wants this.  And her child cries like a baby in front of the judge as he faces the charges.  When I say “baby,” I don’t mean that disrespectfully.  What I’m saying is he is a young teenager, in many respects, still a baby on his life journey who fell victim to the allure of older teens who he looked up to.  I know what it’s like since I was once there and thought t was so cool to walk with a tough crowd.  By the absolute grace of God, I realized I was on my way to failure.  I escaped.  This young fellow was not as fortunate.  His tears in front of the judge said it all…. If I could do it over, I would.  If I could join my teammates on the football field for spring practice, I would.  If I could hug my mother and tell her how much I love her, I would.  But he can’t, he’s charged with murder.  He made a horrible decision and now faces the consequences.  It must stop!

12, 13-year-old shot on playground – Two children, a boy and a girl, were wounded when gunfire broke out between two arguing groups of youths at a playground serving an Atlanta housing area.  The children were taken to the hospital with what appeared to be non-life-threatening wounds. The investigation continues and there is no word whether the two were innocent bystanders or part of the confrontation which led to shots. Hudson:  These two children and the other young people involved in this should have been in front of my chess boards learning to make the right moves in their lives.  Here they are on a playground…  Let me repeat that for emphasis, a playground – which should be a safe haven for children – and wounded by gun violence.  I ask, “What in the world is happening here?” There are so many questions to be asked but they have been asked many times before.  Stop this madness!  We must join to save our children  and the future of our communities and nation.  We are losing another generation. My mission is to save one child at a time from a life of ruin or, worse, no life at all.

Numerous teens shot in Columbus – Nine children ranging in age from 5 to 17-years-old were shot outside a Columbus gas station Friday a little after 10 p.m.  None of the wounded are facing life threatening injuries. Of the nine involved, there were seven males ages 5, 12, 13, 14, 15(2), and 17. There were two 13-year-old girls. Hudson: There are few details at this writing with this story but I have to ask… nine children, one as young as 5, all under 17, gathered at a rural gas station at 10 p.m. on a Friday… all suffering gunshot wounds?  What in the world are we coming to?  How did these children get out of their multiple homes.  Parents?  Guardians?  In this day and age with so much mayhem on our streets, we must protect our children and do all we can to keep them from harm.  This is such a troubling story.

Two teenagers shot outside event business – Atlanta police responded to a shooting call outside an event business at 3:45 a.m. A business representative said they forced groups out of the facility when they closed.  It was there an argument broke out and shots were fired hitting the two teens.  Hudson:  The report does not tell us how old they were but if they were older teens, they should have known better.  If they were younger, someone older should have protected them and taught them better.  There are consequences for every move.  Tell me what good happens on the street after 3 a.m. Simple answer, nothing!

17-year-old snatches gun, murders owner – A stop at a local Dunkin’ Doughnuts ended with one dead and a teenager facing a life behind bars.  Police were called after the teen noticed a handgun in a customer’s waist band.  He grabbed the gun and fled.  The owner gave chase and caught the robber in the parking lot.  During the struggle, the gun discharged killing the 41-year-old gun owner.  Police later arrested the 17-year-old who was staying at a nearby hotel.  Hudson :  I always wonder what kind of life someone this young must have had that positioned him for such a life ending and changing act.  Where was his home? Family?  And what about the victim? Father? Husband?  How did the 17-year-old get here?  Could there have been a successful intervention at an earlier age?  I have to believe, yes. Sad result from a horrible momentary decision.

Manhunt looking for 15-year-old killer – Atlanta police were searching for a 15-year-old juvenile after a shooting at an apartment complex left a 25-year-old male dead and a 40-year-old woman wounded and hospitalized in stable condition.  The shooting broke out after an argument erupted between a group of teens.  An immediate search of the area did not find the young killer.  Hudson: A 15-year-old walking the streets with a gun is calamity waiting to happen.  It happened here.  Why?  Try to imagine you are 15 and facing a long jail term.  Want to start over?  You can’t.  That’s not the way the game you chose to play allows.  There are consequences for every act.

Student brawl in school hallway leads to firing of teacher – A fight in a Rockdale County high school led to one teacher trying to stop the altercation.  When he could not, another teacher came to his aid and body slammed the aggressor student to the floor. It stopped the fight but the administration fired the teacher for use of excessive force.  Hudson:  Is this now a daily occurrence in our schools?  You wonder why young people would want an education career facing this kind of behavior that seems to becoming routine.  Something must be done and I believe that is at the home level.  This is wrong, plain and simple.  Respect for one’s self and others seems to be a lost message.  Quality teachers are not easy to find.  Here is a man who reacted instantaneously and did what he could to stop the brawl and restore order.  Now he has lost his livelihood. And the students involved?  Will they face severe punishment for disrupting a learning environment?  Let’s hope so and that they learn from their mistake. Actions have consequences.

High School student breaks teacher’s leg – An argument between  a teacher and a 9th grade female student led to violence when the student lost control and allegedly attacked the teacher.  The ensuing fight found the two wrestling on the floor before they were separated.  The teacher was taken to the hospital for treatment for a broken leg.  The student was arrested and faces criminal charges. Hudson:  This makes me so sad.  The schoolhouse should be a safe haven, a sanctuary where learning takes precedence.  Today, it is not.  Daily fights keep staff and students on edge. How did this young person get to this point where she had no respect for authority or no idea of what her actions could do… suspension, criminal record, ostracized by her peers. Actions have consequences!

14-year-old arrested driving stolen car – Clayton County police spotted a reported stolen car and gave chase.  After pulling into an apartment complex and almost wrecking the vehicle, the two people in the car fled.  A patrol dog located a suspect’s shoe then tracked the law-breaker to his apartment where he had attempted to change clothes in an attempt to deceive officers.  The 14-year-old was taken into custody and charged with theft by receiving stolen property, obstruction of law enforcement, reckless driving, and curfew violation.  An 18-year-old passenger in the car was also arrested.  Hudson:  Pretty tough charge sheet for a 14-year-old kid.  Will this arrest turn him around before something worse happens to him and/or others?  I hope so.

Atlanta 17-year-old arrested in connection with murder in Minnesota – A shooting at the Mall of the Americas on Dec. 23 in Bloomington, Minnesota has resulted in the arrest of a 17-year-old Atlantan and charges of second-degree murder and second-degree assault.  A disturbance broke out inside the Nordstroms department store and shots rang out.  A 19-year-old was killed. Another person was grazed by a bullet. An 18-year-old was also charged in the shooting death. The suspect fled but was tracked down in Atlanta.  Hudson:  Inside a crowded department store two days before Christmas?  What kind of thought process allows such an act?  I would love to ask this 17-year-old.  My guess is as he sits in jail looking at a long future behind bars, he would not have an answer.

13-year-old shot, killed at skating rink – There are few details and no suspects at this time.  The shooting happened outside a community skating rink about 11:30 pm on a Saturday.  Atlanta City Council members were quick to comment and mourn this latest teen loss.  One Council member is pushing for enforced youth curfews. She said if guns can’t be taken off the streets, we must take our children off  to keep them out of harm’s way.  Hudson:  I applaud the idea but no matter how hard you try you won’t solve the problem.  We must get to the root causes and give kids reason to stay off the streets, especially late at night when many bad things happen.

17-year-old high school junior dies in shootout with adult – The story starts this way: A South Fulton family is distraught after losing their 17-year-old son to gun violence.  The mother expressed her agony, “I’m feeling hurt.  I feel empty inside. My heart has a hole in it.  My stomach feels like it is just swirling.”  Police say both the teen and man had guns and fired after an argument in a local park.  The single-mother called her son “a person who is not hostile.  He is quiet. Everyone who knows him… he has a quiet demeanor.”  But she admitted that after changing schools, the young man “started hanging with the wrong crowd.”  She added when she learned her son had a weapon, “A gun? No… That… No, never.  I wouldn’t ever say what my child wouldn’t do when I’m not around, but he’s a great kid.  I don’t know where he got a gun.  It’s about the pressures of the streets.” Hudson:  How could have this been prevented?  It’s a classic case:  Single mom doing all she can to raise her son safely and honorably.  The story explains she has another son serving in the Marine Corps.  A young person falling in with the wrong crowd and possibly making a decision to carry and use a weapon…  My heart is saddened by her loss.  I am energized to do all I can to save other families from suffering such agonizing loss. Think it out, don’t shoot it out!

Middle school student attacks other student with knife in lunchroom – A middle school student in Cobb County decided to settle a score right in the front of others during lunch break in the cafeteria.  The attacked student suffered “three puncture wounds and three stab wounds” all in the head area.  At this posting she remained in the hospital where her stepfather said she was recovering but is understandably “traumatized.” An investigation is underway.  Hudson: You might say this is high on the list of bad decisions.  Did this student ever consider there is a “consequence for every action.” Apparently not.  The attacker will no doubt now get a true lesson in what that means.  At Be Someone we teach there are consequences for every move and to think it out before taking a violent act.  What is so hard to comprehend is this student acted in front of other students and adult school staff apparently never once thinking there will be a steep price to pay.

Student at Duluth High School attacks other student with knife –  Two students got into an altercation outside the cafeteria when one pulled a knife.  The fight resulted in superficial injuries and the school principal says an investigation is underway.  In a letter to parents, the principal wrote, “Unfortunately, young people make impulsive decisions without considering the lasting consequences of those actions.” Hudson:  I could not say it any better.  Our challenge is to teach as many young people as we can that there are consequences for their actions and if they use their brains to make smart decisions, there chances of a lifetime of success are exponentially increased.

Three teens arrested in Riverdale for using screw drivers to enter and steal Hyundai model vehicles – A 17-year-old and two 16-year-old teens were apprehended after their crime spree.  Apparently, Hyundai and Kia model vehicles are easy to steal just using a flat head screwdriver.  Police say videos are posted on the internet showing how to do it.  Hudson:  All these “kids” should know better.  What took them to the street to do something they knew was wrong?  Tough guys? Nothing else to do? Gang membership?  I don’t know but what I do know is they made a horrible choice and now they have a record to carry with them as a burden in their young lives.  That’s the consequence they will pay for their actions.

13-year-old leads police on 100 mph chase – Police stooped the car when it was going 35 mph on the interstate.  The driver sped off at a high rate of speed, reaching 100 mph.  The car was stopped using “stop sticks” to flatten the tires.  Troopers found a 13-year-old female driver and an 11-year-old male in the passenger seat.  Also found in the car: marijuana, a gun, and drug paraphernalia. Hudson: My first thought… what kind of environment have these children grown up in?  Note what was found in the car.  My guess is that nasty stuff belonged to an “adult” we can only hope is held accountable.  Although we can make a difference in young lives with our program, we must understand so many beautiful children are growing up in lost households “led” by lost individuals.  At Be Someone our focus is to prevent more beautiful children from becoming lost adults.

17-year-old faces felony murder and aggravated assault charges – According to Clayton County police, this 17-year-old was involved along with a 20-year-old in the killing of a 22-year-old who was shot in front of his home.  The victim staggered into the house and died there as family members watched. No further details were released. Hudson: A 17-year-old facing murder charges… how’s that for a plan for your life?  He should be trying to figure out who he was going to ask to go to the prom this year.  I’m serious.  What a horrible, “I-can’t-take-it-back” choice this young fellow made.  Would he do it over if he could?  I sure hope so but life isn’t good at providing second chances when you are charged with murder.  So sad.

15-year-old loses life as two groups fight over drug, gun transaction  –  This event took place on October 22, 2022 but the Clayton County Police Dept. issued a press release seeking information in early December.  A 15-year-old was shot and died of his wounds several weeks later at Grady Hospital where he was taken for treatment.  The investigation has resulted in four arrests but two perpetrators remain on the run.  As is often the case, a meeting to conduct “business” between two groups ended in mayhem after someone no doubt dissed someone else. Charges:  A 47-year-old male (father of one of the youths) charged with tampering with evidence and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon; an 18-year-old charged with felony murder; a 20-year-old charged with felony murder; a 16-year-old charged with felony murder; a 14-year-old charged with felony murder. Hudson: What was this 15-year-old doing in such a meeting between two groups with several young adults involved?  Exciting? Maybe he could make some quick cash? A rough family life?  We’ll never know.  He’s dead.  And note, it took him six weeks to die from his wounds.  Imagine the agony of loved ones praying, hoping he would get another chance at life and better decisions. He ran out of chances when he decided to tag along.  Note the ages of others… 14, 16?  How about 47?  I always wonder about adult  relationships that could make the difference between success and failure, living and dying. A very sad story.

15, 16-year-old die  by gunfire; 11-Year-old among the wounded – Social media taunts and threats seem to be the flash-point that caused two groups to face off at a SW Atlanta apartment complex.  One thing led to another and before you knew it, gunshots rang out.  Two died, three were transported to the hospital, including the 11-year-old and a female victim.  Hudson:  One thing that caught my eye was a quote from a parent of one of the teenagers… “He was following the wrong crowd.”  No doubt there! Each case is different  but parents and guardians must step up and take charge.  They must know what their children are doing and who they are associating with.  The “wrong crowd” cares nothing about your son or daughter.  I was in a gang.  All they want from your kids is for them to toe the line and get results, often, criminal results.  I know kids are difficult.  I’m a dad and it is often easier just to turn them loose and hope for the best.  The worst happened to these youngsters and their grieving families. They made the decision to show up and participate in a threatening situation. It was the wrong move.

15-year-old student shot, killed at party  – A 15-year-old female was shot and killed at a party in Clayton County Saturday night.  The girl was from Marietta.  Details are sketchy but reports said when police arrived 100+ kids were fleeing the scene.  Hudson: 15… at a party in Clayton County… her home was in Marietta, on the other side of town.  What was she doing there?  Did her parents or loved ones know?  Our kids are growing up too fast.  Should we now assume at every large gathering there are weapons in the crowd and young people willing to use them without thinking of the consequences?  It is becoming routine.  A beautiful young girl, dead.  A possible life of joy, happiness and meaning destroyed in an instant.  I cry.

Update:  Three teenagers have been arrested in the deaths reported in the following story.   Atlanta police have arrested 15- and 16-year-old Atlanta Public School students and a 16-year-old from Clayton County.)

12, 15-year-old gang members die after shootout near Atlantic Station in downtown Atlanta – Two youngsters were shot after a fight broke out between two groups near Atlantic Station.  A 12-year-old died after the shooting and a 15-year-old succumbed to his wounds four days later.  The two were with a bigger group of young people who had been causing mischief in Atlantic Station, ruining the day of many law-abiding citizens out to enjoy the experience.  The group left and then headed across the 17th Street bridge when someone opened fire.  Besides the two deaths, several other juveniles were wounded.  The mother of the 12-year-old child said she had repeatedly called for help because her son had come under the influence of older youths in the neighborhood who only cared about new gang recruits and the lucrative crime they could help deliver. The mother said her son was out of control and she was powerless to stop him.  She added the police told her repeatedly they could do nothing unless he hurt someone. Hudson: How do we stop this destruction of our young people and the communities they are growing up in?  This problem belongs to all of us no matter where you live.  Our society and culture are crumbling before our very eyes.  Bad things happen when good people do nothing.  We can’t afford to “do nothing” any longer!

School teacher left bloodied after attack by student – A student attacked a teacher in a Gwinnett County classroom.  The crime was captured on videotape.  The teacher required medical attention for wounds to his face and head.  Apparently, the teacher had spoken to the student’s parents earlier about his poor classroom performance.  The next day the student sought his revenge with the attack committed in front of fellow students.  Luckily, another student intervened and kept the injuries from being even worse.  Hudson:  I ask, did this student once consider he might actually face consequences for such actions?  This is what I teach… there are consequences for every move we make whether on the chess board or in life. What did this young person achieve?  In a manner of speaking, a lot… school suspension… criminal  record… community ridicule… peers who disassociate… family shame.  Did he ever once consider he would pay a price for his bad decision?

Gwinnett County gang members arrested after causing mayhem in the community – Several juveniles were arrested and charged with a variety of crimes after firing weapons into area homes.  Residents expressed relief that the reign of terror at least for now had stopped.  Police not only arrested this group but many more young people for gang-related crime.  Hudson:  How do we stop this scourge.  Community leaders have turned their backs for far too long now they are reaping the results of their inaction .  I believe we must have a community dialogue about things like the importance of families and support groups.  It’s alter but it is never too late if we choose to act now.

Gang activity reported in almost every Georgia county – The head of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Gang Task Force, Ken Howard, says, “I’d say it’s as bad as people believe and it is probably a little worse.” Both Lambert and Carr talk about how gangs recruit children, especially in government housing areas and in other poorer areas.  They are even using things like bouncy houses and ice cream trucks to recruit children as young as 11 or 12, some even younger.  Law enforcement is working hard and making progress with arrests and indictments across the state but the problem is worsening.  Hudson:  As a high school kid in inner-city Birmingham, I was in a gang.  I know how it works. Promises to be somebody.  A sense of belonging and worth when otherwise it does not exist.  Recruiting means money and power to these thugs who walk our streets.  The more members, the more lucrative crime and influence in the communities they fight to control.  We must provide alternatives.  We must have community leaders doing more than talking every time another tragic event happens.  Brains before bullets… think it out don’t shoot it out… make your best move your best move. Be Someone!!!

Two teens shot outside restaurant; another teen charged days later – A 16-year-old boy died and a 17-year-old girl was wounded outside a local restaurant.  The assailant fled but was tracked down and arrested several days later.  Another teen.  Hudson:  Must have been a pretty good disagreement to take a life, harm another and send yourself to prison with plenty of time to find the answer to the question, “Was it worth it?”  I would love to know what was the thought process before pulling that trigger.  Was there one?

16-year-old arrested in death of man shot outside a restaurant – After accidently handling  a gun that discharged in a car outside the restaurant killing a passenger, this 16-year-old fled but turned himself in to police the next day. He was taken into custody and charged with involuntary manslaughter.  Hudson:  Guns kill! They might look cool on TV and the movies but if you don’t know how to handle them, stay away. Even better, stay away period! This young person had no intention (it appears) of killing the deceased but his decision to pick the weapon up in the first place was the wrong one.  I say it thousands of times each year when I train young people, “Decisions, actions have consequences?”

16-year-old kills man by reckless driving – A 31-year-old family man and manager of a pet food store tried to do the right thing by confronting a young driver doing doughnuts in a parking lot.  Unfortunately, the teen tried to drive away and, in the process, hit and killed the man.  He was tracked down and arrested by the police.  Hudson: Another mindless decision that seemed cool and harmless.  One life taken; another young life lost for years to come.  Why was he there breaking the law?  Go ahead, ask him.  My guess is he won’t have a good answer because there is no good answer!

FBI arrests juvenile for making bomb threats – This person – age not given other than calling him a “juvenile too young to be charged with federal hate crime charges,” was arrested for calling multiple bomb threats into several Georgia traditional Black colleges. Hudson: We don’t know much about this young person but we do know he made a willful decision to disrupt the lives of students (and faculty) who are earnestly trying to make something of their lives.  Those students have made a decision that will result in positive outcomes.  The juvenile made a mindless decision, no doubt thinking it was fun and cool.  I wonder if he finds jail fun and cool.

Alleged gang member sentenced to life in prison – This person was 18 when he killed a 19-year-old woman after firing at least 10 shots into a house.  Here’s the list of things he pleaded guilty to: one count of felony murder, six counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, one count of a possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and four counts of violating Georgia’s Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act.  Hudson: Young people, read that slowly and out loud, “sentenced to life in prison.”  He made a horrible, tough guy decision.  He gave his life away after taking a life.   Seems like a fair trade.  Did he not think there might actually be consequences for this horrific trigger-pulling decision?

16-year-old shot near Georgia State campus –  This youngster was shot in broad daylight (about 6 p.m.) in some kind of altercation near a busy downtown area. He provided few details to the responding police before being transported to the hospital.  Hudson:  Young people and guns.  That is a bad combination.  We have to provide constructive alternatives before these young people gravitate toward destructive alternatives.

Fight in school bathroom leads to injuries, charges  –  High school bathrooms are often gathering places for students.  Such was the case at Grayson High School when a fight broke out between two boys.  One pulled out a box cutter and slashed the other sending him to the hospital with serious injuries.  The teen with the weapon faces criminal charges.  Other observing students recording the confrontation and immediately posting on social media face disciplinary action.  Hudson: Do you think the child (yes, child is an accurate description even though this is high school) with the box cutter ever considered he might be in big trouble for #1 fighting and #2 bringing a weapon to school and using it against someone else.  No!  And what about the kids who thought recording the gruesome scene would give them instant social media notoriety?  No.  At “Be Someone” we teach kids there are consequences for every action.  These young people are learning that lesson the hard way.

 Student found shot short distance from high school – Police were called after passersby found a 17-year-old male lying near Norcross High School, the victim of a gunshot wound.  The student later died at a hospital.  The boy’s mother said her son was lured to the site on the pretense of engaging in a fight.  She expressed her sorrow, “I’m deeply crushed.  I’m angry that his life had to be ended so short and so soon.  But I cherish all 17 years I had with him.  He was my baby.”  The same article read that the Gwinnett County School Superintendent is calling “for community solutions to violence.” Hudson:  At Be Someone Inc. we teach “Think it out don’t shoot it out.”  This is senseless.  Let this mamma’s words sink in… anguish, sorrow.  Her “baby” was stolen from her.  Why? There is no answer to that.  The violence must stop.

Man on trial for murder says gang groomed him – This 22-year-old old perpetrator is on trial for killing a wedding guest after the man had the audacity to challenge him after robbing a group of people waiting for rides after the event.  What makes the story even more chilling is the thief’s admission that a gang recruited him when he was only nine or 10.  He became a criminal with a long list of crimes leading to his being apprehended and now tried for murder.  He was 19 when he allegedly pulled the trigger.  He said being in the gang was like being in a “family.”  Hudson: I was in a gang.  I know what it is like to be accepted and “loved.”  Believe me, you are not loved in a gang, you are used.  This young man now faces life in prison as a pay off for his gang membership.  We must provide positive alternatives for our young people.

Police searching for missing 14-year-old – Police are searching for this child who reportedly ran away from home.  The girl was a resident of an apartment complex in Smyrna.  Hudson:  Now I have no idea the circumstances of this case but I do know this.  Our young people must understand they are loved, they have value and they can be forces for good.  Through the game of chess, I teach that each child can “Be Someone” by making the right decisions and using their God-given talents and intelligence to succeed.  I’m saddened anytime I see a story of a young person leaving a home because they know something better awaits.  Rarely, does something better await.  This is a dangerous world.  I’m praying for her and others like her.

16 and 19-year-old gunned down in broad daylight  –  A distraught mother cried for “my 16-year-old baby” who along with another teen was shot and killed one afternoon outside their Jonesboro apartment.  So far, there are no suspects and motives for the tragic loss.  Hudson:  After the fact there are many questions. What led to this?  Why are young people now prone to handle disagreements with weapons?  Could this needless and senseless loss have been prevented?  The pain expressed by this mother underlines the heartbreak and suffering caused by these senseless acts.

Man working on Buckhead home shot, killed in robbery –  The man’s body was found lying in a driveway by a girl walking by the home.  Later, in a neighboring state, an 18-year-old was apprehended driving the dead man’s car.  Hudson:  I simply can’t fathom this.  What is in the mind of this young person that leads him to callously gun down an innocent man then take off in his stolen car.  He had no regard for human life.  He had no issue with the consequences he no doubt would face.  I have to wonder, what led this person to this day?  Were there interventions that could have prevented this?

Young football star inexplicably murdered by two teens – We don’t as yet know the why of the shooting that took the life of an 18-year-old (he just turned 18) star high school wide receiver in a  business parking lot.  The accused (18 and 19-years-old) were apprehended quickly about 100 miles from the scene.  All police are saying was that there was a confrontation of some sort and the victim and perpetrators knew each other.  Hudson: Looks like they fled.  Maybe they realized after their act that it was wrong and by running they could make the crime go away.  Doesn’t work that way young folks.  A wrong move like this has ruined so many lives and left an entire community and school system devastated.  Once you pull the trigger, you’re done.  A young talented life taken.  Two more lives destined to life-long incarceration because of a very stupid move… Three lifetimes lost in 10 minutes or less.

Teenagers participate in brawl at Arbor Place Mall – A promotion offering $3 tickets to see a movie attracted a large group of young people. Investigators believe the fight started as a prank or an effort to get hits on Tik-Tok.  Before it ended, an estimated 200 teenagers were involved in the melee. Although 19 have been officially charged, police say there will be more. Hudson:  Think about this.  First, where are the supervising adults for these children?  The youngest suspect facing charges is 12-ywars-old. 12-years-old! These children are facing a range of charges from disorderly conduct to simple battery to violation of the Georgia Terrorist Act. A local government official was quoted as saying, “Times have changed” in referring to young people misbehaving publicly.  We agree but it should not be that way. Bottom line: There are consequences for every decision we make.  These youngsters may have thought this was cool but it was not and they will pay a price.

17-year-old charged in killing of 14-year-old – This tragic event happened at a Clarkston apartment complex.  The two apparently knew each other. Investigators are trying to determine what caused the shooting. Hudson:  Drugs? Anger? Whatever reason you come up with, there is no justification for such a violent act.  Two families suffer.  The 14-year-old is being mourned by loved ones.  They are no doubt asking, how could we have saved him?  The perpetrator’s family is no doubt asking themselves how did we facilitate this act?  How could we have stopped it?  The young shooter? He will no doubt have a lot of time in prison to ask himself why he did what he did. A life lost. A life wasted. Why? So sad!

14-year-old girl arrested for Walmart fire – A Walmart in Peachtree City had to be evacuated when fire broke out inside the store one evening.  Severe damage was caused to the store.  An investigation led to the arrest of a 14-year-old girl. Hudson:  The first question is why?  Bored? Angry? Showing off? Revenge?  Whatever the answer, it was wrong.  Now she and her family are about to pay the consequences for her wrong move.  Police record at 14.  Bet she never thought of the price she might pay for her actions. At Be Someone, we teach young people to use their brains for good.  I wish she had been one of my students.

“Water Boy” makes string of wrong moves – A group of teens was selling bottled water to drivers exiting I-75 at 10th Street.  When an Atlanta police officer approached a 14-year-old, for some reason the teenager bolted leading to a foot chase. Wrong move #2 (being in the street in the first place was #1).  When the officer caught the youngster, he made the next bad move, he struck the officer, hitting him and crushing his eye socket.  The injury may cause permanent blindness.  The teen has been charged with aggravated assault, aggravated battery, terroristic threats, obstruction, pedestrian in the roadway, pedestrian soliciting business and littering.  Hudson: OK, I get it, kids need money and they think this is a lawful way to get some quickly.  It’s against the law.  The City of Atlanta has a partnership with local businesses creating summer jobs for kids. At last check, several hundred are unfilled. I wish this 14-year-old had chosen that honorable route.  He didn’t and now he is in BIG trouble.  And why did he run?  And then what led him to swing at an officer? Fourteen!  We teach kids at Be Someone to respect law enforcement and if you have nothing to hide… do not run! I’m a former officer.  That tells me, yep, you are hiding something and I’m coming for you.

Teen injured after making two wrong moves – The robbing crew of young adults and teenagers chose a Buckhead apartment complex parking deck as their target for crime.  They were breaking into cars when police arrived.  As they attempted to flee, one 17-year-old made at least his second wrong move of the night.  In attempting to escape, he jumped five stories from the deck to the ground.  He made easy pickings for the police.  Once he recovers from his injuries, he will be transferred from a hospital bed to a jail cell.  Hudson: Often, one wrong move is all it takes to ruin a young life.  But two back-to-back will leave lasting memories that actions do in fact have consequences.

Best friends die in late-night shooting in Gwinnett County Park –   The two teenagers, 19 and 17, reportedly were best friends and did everything together.  Their final act was dying together.  The two were shot and killed around midnight by as yet an  unnamed assailant in a lake-front park.  Police were called after residents reported hearing gun fire. Hudson:  Why did they decide to visit the park so late at night?  Why did they put themselves in jeopardy?  The touching video of one of the teen’s mother was heartbreaking.  Someone took her “baby” and she didn’t know why.