DENVER (CBS4) – While the city of Denver has seen an increase in violent crime with regard to youth, police say so far, the rate of crime related to gun violence has remained mostly level.
From Jan. 1 to July 4 of this year, there were a total of 110 “gun-related violent crimes” among individuals under the age of 17 according to Denver Police.
Following July 4? The number of young victims grew.
Between July 6 and July 8, four young community members lost their lives to gun violence.
On July 8, Xzavier Collier, who was just 14-years-old, was shot to death along with 15-year-old Moses Chaney Harris.
On July 7, 20-year-old Kalani Hayter was shot found shot to death in Denver.
On July 6, 19-year-old Tayvion Washington was also shot to death in Denver. He had just graduated from Northeast Early College according to a Facebook post made by the school following his murder.
The recent violence was enough to inspire 10for10, a local youth-led organization, to hold a vigil.
“We wanted to create a space to make sure we honor the people that have passed but also let the community know that we are in this together,” said Peter Lubembela, President of 10for10.
On Friday, leading up to the vigil, the youth organization took the time to not only remember those who have lost their lives, but to celebrate youth making difference. The local art on display through the day, along with music and a fashion show, was just as healing as the vigil itself.
“We wanted to really celebrate the beauty in the community so we invited the youth out to showcase their art and creativity and just the love that we do have here,” said Jlynn Terroade, Public Relations Chair at 10for10.
Terroade, who had her own artwork on display Friday, played a major role in organizing the day.
“I’ve grown up with kids who have lost their lives and everybody, it’s so sad to think, has a story about it. You know? It’s not even just my personal story. Every body has been impacted by this,” she said. “But it’s so imperative that we also showcase the beauty that exists.”
10for10 says it wants to continue to find ways to give youth a space to fight for change which requires support from all ages.
“It’s us youth that are organizing it but it’s not successful without the adults in the community, without the community leaders coming out to support us,” said Lubembela.