AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – Community leaders around the Denver metro area are stepping up their efforts to combat youth violence after a shooting at Nome Park left six Aurora Central High School students injured. When the gunfire erupted Monday afternoonFrank Niygena, a junior at Central, was in the library and saw people running. 

Then I heard the microphone, ‘shooting, shooting,’” he recalled.  

While Nigyena called the event scary, he also said violence was something he is somewhat used to. Other parents and neighbors echoed those same sentiments Monday when describing their concerns.  

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“It needs to be addressed for the kids like us to be protected, to be safe,” Niygena said.  

That issue is now before several Denver metro area community organizations, including Struggle of Love, GRASP, Mosaic, and the Youth Violence Prevention programs for Aurora and Denver. 

On Tuesday, leaders of the respective organizations met in person for the second time since the shooting to talk about how to respond in the community and share resources, as well as address the bigger issue of youth violence.  

While each organization has already been working to address the issue for some time, Monday’s shooting added a sense of urgency. 

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“This is an opportunity for us to take action,” said Christina Amparan, program manager of Aurora’s Youth Violence Prevention Program, which the city created in April. “It’s an opportunity for us to move from the planning stage to the next step.” 

According to Amparanthat means addressing root causes for youth and community violence, such as guns, gangs, substance use, and mental health issues. 

“What resource information do we want to share?” Amparan said. “Identify gaps, identify areas of opportunity, So, this is a really good opportunity for us to have a really big impact through that collective approach.”  

The group decided to implement three immediate actions this week to support the community after the shooting.  

On Wednesday, the organizations will hold a safe haven event where families and community members can come to talk and have access to resources. It will be from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. at 802 Quari Court.

Organizers are also planning a peace march for Friday afternoon. It is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. at will begin and end at Kenton Elementary School.  

It offers them a chance to provide support to each other, to connect, but also an opportunity to heal,” Amparan said.  

The third action the group decided on involves sending community leaders to schools near where the shooting occurred. Joel Hodge and Jason McBride with Struggle of Love began by visiting several schools Tuesday morning.  

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“We have to get to where the problem is and we have to talk to these kids,” McBride said. “More importantly, we have to talk to their parents.”  

Leaders of the community organizations pledged to keep coordinating efforts Tuesday, acknowledging youth violence aa Metro Area-wide public health crisis. 

“It really is a time for all hands-on deck to really be innovative and collaborative in finding solutions,” said Jonathan McMillan, youth violence prevention director for the City and County of Denver. 

Conor McCue