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Recent uptick in shootings involving youth in Omaha

In the last week, 3 teenagers have been killed, and many others injured, by gunfire.
Posted at 6:07 PM, Jun 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-09 19:07:26-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Three teenagers, one 13-year-old and two 17-year-olds have been shot and killed in the last month.

There have been at least nine others shot and three more injured during shooting incidents.

From 29th Street to a block of South Galvin Road, to Laurel Avenue and Binney Street, the violence has been non-stop.

Omaha tends to have more shootings as the temperature gets warmer and this week seems to follow the trend.

"Typically when school gets out, we do see an uptick in gang activities and an uptick in violence, and school just got out. With hot weather often times we see an uptick, and we've obviously got some pretty warm weather," said Captain Tom Shaffer, Omaha Police Department.

The rise in the number of young lives lost or injured, and the number of those young individuals committing crimes, has grabbed the attention of more than the local police.

"I can assure you that the FBI, ATF, The United States Marshal Service, and the Omaha Police Department, as well as the State Patrol in Douglas County, are all collectively working in addressing this," said Shaffer.

The Omaha Police Department has various programs for prevention and intervention like P.A.C.E. and operation nets, but community organizations like YouTurn, are doing what they can to help put individuals on the right path.

"Each person, getting them to that space where they understand their part in it, and their part in making it better. Those are the things that we strive for," said Teresa Negron, Executive Director of YouTurn.

Teresa is the Executive Director of You Turn, and she says the pandemic did not help the issue at all. Having a whole year of keeping kids indoors and away from their friends is tough.

"Right now, like I said, we've had programs that have had to close their doors or modify the way that they work with young people. And then you have young people who don't have a good feel for how to handle conflict, and that's what we are seeing," said Negron.

Captain Shaffer says that it's illegal for anyone to possess a gun under the age of 18 and the community can play a big part in preventing these tragic deaths by reporting it.

"Any juveniles, any young people you see carrying guns, possessing guns, talking about guns, let us know. Let us get there, let us use our resources, to make sure that we get that gun off the street. You can do it anonymously as I said through Crime Stoppers, and potentially get a reward out of it, but also help keep this community safe," said Captain Shaffer.

Comparing the last two weeks to this time last year, OPD says there have been more felony shootings. Although, Captain Shaffer says it's hard to compare statistics to last year as it was just not a normal year due to the pandemic.

To contact Omaha Crime Stoppers:

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