LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Louisville Metro Police Department charged a 15-year-old boy in the fatal shooting of a 12-year old girl Saturday. Her death marks the 25th homicide of the year in Louisville. 

Activist Christopher 2X says a 'disturbing' number of young people are getting caught up in some of Louisville's most violent crimes in 2021, which have impacted different parts of the city.

2X's organization, Game Changers, tracks LMPD's homicide data. Among the city's 25 fatal shooting victims in the first six weeks of the year, five are under the age of 19. An 18-year-old, two 17-year-olds, a 12-year-old and a 7-year-old have also been killed by gunfire in 2021. 

"The problem is that it's becoming more common for them to be a part of the data, and that's what we clearly have to try to understand," said 2X. "They shouldn't be (a part of) the numbers, even if they're low. It's just too young to see lives being impacted like this."

Louisville ended 2020 with a record number of homicides at 173. 2X says this year is shaping up to be even more violent, as more young people get involved in gunplay.

"Women and children again are getting impacted, with no regards to the sanctity of life," he said. "Something has shifted, especially in the last year and few months."

Violence among young people has risen nationwide during the pandemic, with many schools and community organizations closed. However, 2X says, "It's deeper than the pandemic," pointing to other factors such as mental health needs that have risen in recent years.

According to 2X, one shooting often leads to another, as many young people lack the coping skills to deal with the pain, anger, and trauma that manifests from violence.

"They either put themselves in a position to hurt somebody, or somebody's gonna get hurt because of another hurt situation," he said. "It's sad, but it's real."

Copyright 2021 WDRB Media. All Rights Reserved.