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Community leaders react to most recent Aurora shooting

For the third time in the last two weeks, multiple teenagers were shot in Aurora.

AURORA, Colo. — For the third time in the last two weeks, multiple teenagers were shot in Aurora. The shooting happened early Sunday morning near North Dayton Street and East Colfax Avenue. 

Police found two people on the scene and took them to the hospital. Authorities said three others showed up at the hospital later. The victims were between the ages of 16 and 20 years old. All are expected to survive. 

RELATED: 5 people between the ages of 16-20 shot in Aurora

"I don't know how much longer I can do this," secondary violence prevention specialist Jason McBride told 9NEWS. "Like my heart has been broken umpteen times and has shattered in a million pieces all over this city behind kids that have lost their lives in situations I think we could have prevented."

> Watch: 'I don't know how much longer I can do this': Community leader reacts to most recent Aurora shooting

McBride is one of many community leaders who have spent the last few weeks pushing organizations to find a solution to the recent uptick in youth violence in Aurora. 

On Nov. 15, six Aurora Central High School students were injured by gunfire at Nome Park, which is across the street from the school. All of them survived.

RELATED: Two 15-year-old boys arrested in connection with Nome Park shooting that injured 6

On Nov. 19, three students were shot in the parking lot at Hinkley High School. They also survived. Police said two of them are students at Hinkley, while the other goes to APS Avenues.

RELATED: 3 teens shot in Hinkley High School parking lot; suspects arrested

"These kids aren't thinking straight or they just don't care, which is even more scary. So really we have to do some things, and I think mental health is the number one thing we need to do," McBride said. "We talk about what the problem is. We all know the problem. Let’s talk about solutions." 

Aurora Public Schools (APS) Superintendent Rico Munn announced Saturday that students will not be allowed to leave for lunch, beginning Monday. That policy will be in effect until Christmas break and will be discussed again after that, Munn said.

RELATED: APS superintendent talks about challenges with keeping all students on high school campuses after shootings

In order to solve the gun violence plaguing the city, council members are looking for solutions. 

Aurora Councilmember Curtis Gardner is working with city leaders in Denver for a new gun buyback program, set to begin in March. Meanwhile, his colleague Alison Coombs is working to make sure more staffing is solidified for the youth violence prevention program, which was initiated in April.

RELATED: Denver, Aurora council members begin gun buyback program in 2022

Coombs said only three out of seven positions for the program are staffed, due to issues with hiring and finding qualified people to fill the roles. 

"We've funded them, and the hiring hasn't begun. So I do think it's really important for us to be hiring for all the roles and really making sure that this program is operating at full capacity," Coombs said. 

> Watch: Aurora council member reacts to recent shootings

She also reiterated that young people need to feel seen and heard. Coombs is concerned that some feel like they have no one to turn to for help. 

"They're saying they don't feel heard when they say that something is a problem or that something's going to happen," she said. "So those are two things that we've heard directly from them and that we know we can control and we can address."

Aurora Police Department Deputy Chief Darin Parker is urging parents to do what they can to help police stop the violence. 

"You have better eyes and ears as far as what your kids are doing than we do," he said. "We can't--we're not with these kids all the time, and the parents likely are spending more time with them and have the ability to do things like have conversations with them, look in their rooms, look in their cars, figure out who their friends are, and just do the things that we just don't have the resources to do." 

As for the most recent shooting, police are investigating whether it was connected to a party they believe took place in the area at the time of the shooting. Officers spotted a large group of people leaving the area as they arrived on scene. 

Aurora police did not have any suspect information.

The Gang Rescue and Support Project, or GRASP, told 9NEWS they had boots on the ground on Sunday. They said they were offering services to the victims and the families of Sunday morning's shooting.

RELATED: Prayer vigil held at Nome Park to discuss change

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