DENVER — The small memorial in an alley off Quebec and Colfax marks the spot where a life ended and a family began the long process of coming to terms with loss.
Teen violence in Denver is leaving families desperate for answers after their loved ones pass away. The family of a 17-year-old girl shot last month still knows little about what led to her being killed.
"We’re just looking for answers," said Diana Hernandez, cousin of Jasmine Rivas-Hernandez. "Getting justice would be a big relief for us. It’s not going to bring her back, but it’s definitely going to help."
Rivas-Hernandez was found with a gunshot wound early in the morning on March 26. A week and a half later, police haven’t said if there’s a suspect or a motive, or answered many of the other questions Hernandez is left wondering about.
"This is my first time having to deal with this, especially a family member," Hernandez said. "I just never thought our family would go through this. It’s just becoming so common nowadays. It’s kind of scary."
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Shootings happen nearly every day across the metro area. The police show up, the crime scene is established, and when all of that is cleared, more and more families are left mourning and waiting for closure.
"It’s frustrating because we haven’t heard anything," Hernandez said. "We haven’t heard of no suspects."
Another family left hurting after yet another shooting.
"We want answers. We want to know why this happened," Hernandez said. "I don’t think there’s anything that she could have done or could have done to anyone for someone to kill her like that. It just makes no sense."
Metro Denver Crime Stoppers has added a $2,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest in this case.
The family knows as much as the public knows about what happened. Police have only said that Rivas-Hernandez was shot and killed, but no other information has been released.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867 or visit metrodenvercrimestoppers.com. Tipsters can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $2,000.
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