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Aurora Teen Counselor Saddened To See Another Shooting Among Young People

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – Six teenagers are in the hospital after being shot around 12:45 on Monday afternoon at Nome Park. All of the victims are students at Aurora's Central High School, ranging from 14-18 years old.

A neighbor told CBS4's Mekialaya White he heard what sounded like 30-50 gunshots rattling his neighborhood when it happened.

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"It's just sad to see. They're so young."

Earlier in the day, White sat down with Struggle of Love Outreach Coordinator and Mental Wellness Coach James Marquez to discuss the current youth crime crisis that Aurora is facing.

"It's not okay," he said.

His nonprofit works with disadvantaged teens, and he closely knew the victim of an Aurora shooting over the weekend. It happened in the 13000 block of East 33rd Place. Aurora Police tweeted that an 18-year-old male was rushed to a local hospital, where he later died.

"It touched home because it was again so close," said Marquez. "And it seems like people are just like 'Oh, another (shooting).'"

It was one of two deadly shootings involving teens in the Denver metro area over the weekend. The other happened at 53rd and Dunkirk on Saturday night.

Marquez says it's getting too routine; the exact opposite needs to happen. He says mental health resources are key in helping curb the shootings. With the pandemic, the extra stress is building at home and at schools, even exacerbating depression.

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"Some of these kids haven't been to school since 7th grade, and they wake up and they're in high school 18 months later and dealing with that."

He is asking for more accountability with parents. He says his organization is always there to help also.

"It's okay not to be okay, just reach out to somebody," he said. "Bring it back together, to the community. That's what we're missing really."

Struggle of Love has a mental health bus that visits its facility at 12000 E 47th Avenue weekly. You can also contact them here: (720) 923-6122

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