The Los Angeles School Police Department is growing concerned about violent attacks on children who are walking to and from school or in some cases, near their own homes.

Sgt. Rudy Perez of the LASPD said the young children are easy targets and are becoming victims of violent crime and an alarming rate.

“They’re not going to fight back,” Perez said. “We’re just seeing a wave of high violence crimes affecting our student body.”

Tuesday on L.A.’s westside, a sophomore at Hamilton High School was shot by someone who drove up and opened fire. The teen was hospitalized and is currently in stable condition, police said.

On the morning of Feb. 2, two sisters were robbed of their phones and jewelry while walking along Melrose Avenue. Surveillance footage showed the two sisters being attacked.

Perez is investigating that assault and said it’s one of a half-dozen similar robberies targeting students. He said a “community approach” will be needed to put an end to these attacks.

“As parents, as a school community, we have to create a culture of safety and we have to begin to be part of these answers,” Perez said. “We cannot allow our students to be victimized.”

Sheriff’s detectives just released video of the shooting of Otis Williams, who was shot and killed in 2020 after the driver of a Dodge Charger pulled up to him as he walked near his home and opened fire. Williams’ family is hoping that the newly released video will help detectives arrest his killer.

Investigators believe in some of these crimes juvenile offenders are being used and supported by adults in hopes that they’ll face lighter sentences if they are arrested.

Oftentimes there are witnesses or bystanders who do nothing. Perez said that silence is not part of the community solution.

“We have to have the ability as bystanders to intervene or get help when we need it,” he said.

Perez said the rise of violent attacks on children is not unique to Los Angeles. He said children should consider walking in groups and sticking to well-lit streets.