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Teens found shot to death in Denver apartment were best friends

The funeral for Moses Chaney-Harris, 15, is Tuesday.

DENVER — Funeral services are being held Tuesday for a teenage boy who was found shot to death inside an apartment in the northeast Denver Montbello neighborhood, according to the victim's mother.

The bodies 14-year-old Xzavier Collier and 15-year-old Moses Chaney-Harris were found in an apartment in the 12200 block of Albrook Drive, near Peoria Street and East 47th Avenue. One of the victims was found on the evening of July 7. Denver Police said they found the second teenager while serving a warrant the next morning.

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No information has been released about possible suspects or what motivated the shooting.

"There's just no understanding, a 14-year-old. Nobody deserves to go out that type of way," said Sonya Collier, the mother of Xzavier Collier. "He didn’t deserve it, regardless of whatever the situation was, whatever was behind it, he didn’t deserve to go out that way."

Sonya Collier said her son would have turned 15 later this month and would have been a sophomore at Jefferson High School this fall. She said her son and the second victim, Moses Harris, were "best friends."

"It's very hard, I don’t expect anybody to understand, especially if they’ve never lost a child," she said. "I'm just trying to process everything and stop crying."

Credit: Sonya Collier
Xzavier Collier and his mother, Sonya Collier

Loved ones have started an online fundraiser to help Collier's family.

There are at least five other deaths in Denver that have been investigated as homicides since July 1.

On July 10, a group of people gathered at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Early College in Green Valley Ranch, for a vigil to honor the recent victims of violence in Denver.

The vigil was organized by 10for10, a youth-led organization that works to fight injustice in the community.

Earlier in the evening, 10for10 also hosted a fashion and art show on the campus. They ended the event with the vigil, which featured speakers, poetry, and performances.

"We're all about giving our other peers a platform and giving them an opportunity to have their voices heard as well," said Samuel Elfay, one of the organizers with 10for10. Elfay did not know the teenage victims, personally, but heard about their deaths. He said he knew someone else who had been killed in recent violence in the community.

"It's very heartbreaking and it hurts me to know that there [are] kids in our community trying to do better and getting killed," he said.

One of the speakers at the vigil was Jason McBride, who works as an education specialist and program assistant for GRASP (Gang Rescue and Support Project).

"I think we're in epidemic proportions when it comes to youth [violence]," McBride said before the vigil.

He did not know the two teenagers killed but said he has noticed victims of violence are getting younger and younger.

"When I got shot, I was 24. I was a grown man," McBride said. "Now these kids are 12,13, 14, 15 years old. If we don’t do something now, they’re just going to keep getting younger and younger and younger and we really have to stepup and do something."

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