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'It's time to stop': Nonprofit pleas for Omaha to come together to end gun violence

Posted at 6:34 PM, Oct 05, 2023

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — YouTurn, a nonprofit in North Omaha, works to end youth violence.

On Sunday, there was a mass shooting with six victims, one who was killed. Lamarantae Swift was 16.

On Wednesday, another killed. Dontayshia Swift was 19.

The two murders in Omaha are part of four shooting incidents since Saturday.

Teresa Negron, who leads YouTurn, says it's time for the violence to stop.

"As a community we can come together," she said. "We can put a stop to this."

"It's time for people who know people who hurt people to talk to those people," Negron added. "Get in their minds. That's what we try to do here at YouTurn."

She said that message can be delivered both while the people at risk of perpetrating violence are acting impulsively, or in their best moments.

She says never in her almost four years at YouTurn have staff been personally connected to two murders so close together.

"There are people who work here that have been personally impacted by this," she said. "So, um, it's very tough."

The people who work at YouTurn understand the challenges, she said. They offer support as people who know and understand the issue through lived experience.

Negron has heard people talk about a "low" number of homicides in Omaha.

"It's data," she said. "But we're talking about lives. One life life being lost is too many. Especially when they're as young as the last two victims have been."

YouTurn is reachable at (402) 933-7850.

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