AURORA, Colo. — Aurora police have arrested a 15 and 16-year-old in connection to last month’s shooting at Nome Park that left six injured. These two and two other 15-year-olds are all facing attempted first-degree murder charges.
“I actually think it’s good that the police are working on it, trying to figure it out,” said GRASP outreach worker Lawrence Goshon.
Lawrence Goshon is a former gang member who now focuses on teen outreach with GRASP, which stands for Gang Rescue and Support Project. He said the ages of those on both sides of the gun is heartbreaking.
“It’s unfortunate that the people they’re picking up are so young, that they’re youth, they’re teens,” Goshon said.
But he is concerned about what’s next for these teens.
“Are we looking to pick them up to punish these kids or are they picking them up with the intentions of getting to the root, what’s the cause, why are these kids doing this. What’s going on with these young men in our community,” he said.
Goshon isn’t alone in this fight. Jason McBride stands alongside him but represents another organization.
“You talk about those numbers and those kids that are being arrested for these things. We were lucky in both instances that no one was killed,” said Struggle of Love Foundation violence prevention specialist Jason McBride.
“Our motto here is 100 percent of you, to 100 percent of your kids to 100 percent of the time,” McBride said.
100% is given each and every day, according to McBride, whether that’s giving back in a toy drive around the holidays or tackling a deeply rooted problem.
“Keeping these kids safe. That’s what this center is about. This is something that we’ve been kind of combating for the last 4 or 5 or 6 years. Younger and younger victims but also younger and younger perpetrators,” McBride said.
Both are hoping to provide chances and opportunities for those they care so deeply about.
“We have failed them. We have to change everything about what we’re doing with these kids because the world is different,” McBride said.
In January, GRASP is taking its mission in preventing youth violence a step further.
“In collaboration with the Second Chance Center and the Department of Corrections. They are implementing a program that I created called the GCODE. :43 Which stand for Graciousness Conduct Organization Discipline and Education,” Goshon said.
He adds that the Department of Corrections is providing him and others with access to those who have a name in the streets -- those who can also help the youth that are struggling right now.
The goal is to help them transition into adulthood by teaching them self-worth and self-value. 9NEWS hopes to follow up with them once the program is underway.
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