WILLIAMSPORT, LYCOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU)— The Williamsport District Attorney’s office put out a release on Tuesday attributing the increase in violent crime to gang activity.

According to new information provided by law enforcement, the recent uptick in violent crimes is a result of back-and-forth gunfire between competing gangs, the FNN and BTK gangs.

Officials said both gangs consist of juveniles around the ages of 15 and 16 who band together to traffic narcotics and “pursue the illegal acquisition of firearms to protect members belonging to their immediate gang and to deter other gangs from infringing on their illegal narcotic trade.”

As of right now, law enforcement believes the recent shootings on August 21-22 were isolated events from the exchange of shots between FNN and BTK gangs.

The District attorney’s office noted that parents or guardians resisting efforts by law enforcement to interview their children is understandable, but in order for law enforcement to help ensure the safety of their community, they request the cooperation of the parents or guardians of children claiming allegiance to FNN or BTK.

Officials said any parent or guardian whose child claims membership to either FNN or BTK should be aware that these children “do not fear acts of violence.”

Police officers will not be releasing information surrounding the homicide that took place on August 19 at this time.

Investigators urge parents and guardians to talk with their children about the recent surge in gang-related gun violence. Anyone with information is asked to contact Williamsport police at (570) 327-7560.