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Family mourns teenager killed in drive-by shooting

Alaina Martinez, 17, died in late October at an Adams County house party.

ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. — Six kids at Denver's North High School should be preparing for final papers, spending time with friends or picking graduation outfits. 

On Thursday, their families gathered for a memorial to remember them instead. 

Since this time last year, North's principal says the school has lost six kids – some to suicide, some to gun violence. 

"She was extraordinary and I just miss her, we just miss her," said Desiree Martinez, whose daughter Alaina died in a drive-by shooting at a house party last fall.

She went with her sister Selma to the party to celebrate their cousin's birthday. "I don't condone the fact that we were partying while there were guns," Selma Martinez said. "Not like we weren’t watching or anything. Even regardless of that we were still having a good time."

The drive-by injured at least seven teenagers -- Alaina was the only one who died. 

"I'm sure we were hiding things from our parents when we were that age, but we had no idea that that's how it was out there," Desiree Martinez said. "All these kids carrying guns. And you know they're not toys."

She never knew this kind of heartbreak. "I just miss her, we just miss her."

Alaina's dad, Vincent, never knew this kind of frustration. "I need more progress man, I need to know something," he said. "Get the guns off the street man, we gotta figure out how to do that." 

Selma didn't know this kind of regret. "I'm upset with myself, you know, for being naïve, you know, because even though we were watching, it's just not right," she said. 

But mostly, the family didn't know a missing smile could cause this kind of pain. "Now we have to figure this new life out without her," she said. "It's a struggle."

The Adams County Sheriff's Office said it has several people of interest in the case, but it's waiting for some evidence to return from analysis before detectives can move forward. 

There's a $5,000 dollar Crime Stoppers reward for information in the case. Tipsters can remain anonymous by calling 720-913-7867.

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