'It's going to take everybody': North side Milwaukee teens call for an end to gun violence

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Teens from Milwaukee's north side are speaking out about what their communities need to be safe after the death of 15-year-old Gabby Landry and several years of extreme gun violence.

"That's somebody that looks like me, that's somebody that you know, that's my age, and young people shouldn’t have to die at a young age due to gun violence," said Mia Moore, a sophomore at Rufus King High School.

Students from Rufus King are all too familiar with the issue of gun violence. High school students Mia Moore and ZaRiyah Blacks are determined to make a difference.

At just 16, Blacks said she's already been exposed to losing a loved one to gun violence. She lost two of her family members, one whom was a cousin she was close to.

"Its affected me a lot, like it’s a lot to deal with," said Blacks.

Both teens are using their voices for change. Early in February, Moore organized a school walkout demanding a stop to gun violence and also created a peace pledge as a call to action.

"Since the pandemic, gun violence has been going up in our community and we continue to see a spike in gun violence just rise, especially in young people," said Moore.

According to the Milwaukee Police Department, 19 teens died in 2021 because of gun violence. From January to February of this year, MPD reported two deaths.

"When anyone is flooded with grief, experience after experience, loss after loss, there is a sadness that is also a part of how we move around the world. How we make choices and how we make decisions," said Simmone Kilgore who is the ReCAST manager for the Milwaukee Office of Violence Prevention.

Moore and Blacks said they think more mental health services as well as adult outreach is needed in their communities. Moore said she thinks this could help teens deal with their emotions and decrease the amount of violence within teens.

Both teens said in order to see change, it will take a village.

"Its going to take everybody," said Blacks.

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