youth gun violence

Police in Mobile, Ala. have arrested a 17-year-old in connection with a shooting incident that injured 10 teenagers at a high school football game Friday evening. The suspect has been charged with nine counts of attempted murder.

WLRN is looking at the impact of children and teens killed by guns in South Florida through the voices of some of the people who are most affected.

You can find the entire series at wlrn.org/ownwords

Noricia Talabert was dropping friends off at home in Florida City when someone started shooting. The 17-year old, just a few months shy of her high school graduation, was killed.

Noricia had just celebrated her mom's birthday, Regina Talabert, the day before. 

In the decades since two gunman attacked Columbine High School, ushering in a new era in which mass shootings have become commonplace in America, the building has turned into a tourism magnet for those curious about the school's dark history. And fears have persisted that the site has provided inspiration for copycat killings.

Over the past few months, visitors hoping to glimpse the school have been coming in droves, hitting record levels, perhaps fueled by the shooting's 20th anniversary.

Is it time to demolish the school?

It was sunny and cold on Feb. 13, 2018, when 18-year-old Jack Sawyer walked out of Dick's Sporting Goods in Rutland, Vt., with a brand-new pump-action shotgun and four boxes of ammunition.

The next day, Valentine's Day, Sawyer took his new gun out for target practice.

Around the same time, about 1,500 miles away in Parkland, Fla., a 19-year-old shot and killed 17 students and teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Nadege Green / WLRN

This is the first time Sirena Saul is meeting Jason Louis in person. They’ve only been in touch by phone.

Louis, a high school senior at Miami Norland, gives Saul a tight hug and they get to work—shopping for a prom suit at Harrell’s Fine Fashions and Tuxedo Central in Lauderhill. 

Saul tells him she’s paying for everything: his suit, shoes, tickets to prom and a photographer.

Courtesy

A Miami man will serve 40 years in prison for starting the gunfight that killed a 6-year-old boy while he walked to a corner store to buy candy.

Irwen Pressley, on Monday, pleaded guilty to the murder of King Carter, whose death in February 2016 galvanized community leaders and activists in North Miami-Dade neighborhoods wracked by youth violence.

It's 5 o'clock in the morning, and Sarah Salazar would rather be sleeping. Not just because it's early. Or because she's a teenager and can't seem to get enough sleep. Doctors say the shotgun pellets embedded in her shoulder, lung and back have sent her lead levels skyrocketing and leave her feeling tired much of the time.

Nadege Green / WLRN

For the last couple of years, a school bus driver in Florida City has made prom possible for dozens of teenage girls in South Miami-Dade.

Regina Talabert spends a lot of time making calls and sending emails requesting donations of lightly used or new formal dresses leading up to prom season.

On a recent Saturday, the fruit of her work is on display inside the community room at City Church in Homestead, which has been transformed into a pop-up prom shop where everything is free.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have launched a free online gun violence prevention course.
Elizabeth Fernandez / Getty Images

Nadege Green / WLRN

WLRN is looking at the impact of children and teens killed by guns in South Florida through the voices of some of the people who are most affected.

You can find the entire series at wlrn.org/ownwords

Zamari Pierre-Louis was 16 years old when he was shot and killed in Miami Gardens on January 17, 2014. 

Five years later, his killing remains unsolved. 

Nadege Green / WLRN

Nine men rest on cots under a large white tent in Miami’s Liberty City neighborhood. They call themselves “The Hunger Nine.”

They’re on Day 12 of a hunger strike to draw attention to the gun violence that disproportionately impacts black neighborhoods in Miami-Dade.

Nadege Green

A group of student journalists tracked every fatal shooting of young people since the mass shooting in Parkland on Feb. 14, 2018.

And they wrote obituaries for all of the victims—1,149 teens, children and toddlers.

The project is called “Since Parkland.”

Psychologist John Van Dreal has spent almost 30 years working with troubled kids. Still, it's always unsettling to get the kind of phone call he received one morning eight years ago as he was on his way to a meeting.

"I got a call from the assistant principal at North [Salem] High, reporting that a student had made some threats on the Internet," remembers Van Dreal, the director of safety and risk management for Salem-Keizer Public Schools in Salem, Ore.

Threats of violence in a Facebook post

As the nation marks one year since the Parkland school shooting, many Americans are thinking about how the conversation about kids and gun violence has shifted.

In the weeks and months after a gunman killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., students took to the streets and the airwaves to call for fundamental change in America's gun laws. Stoneman Douglas students and students nationwide rallied in an effort to prevent that kind of massacre from happening again.

Nadege Green / WLRN News

As neighbors in Miami’s Liberty City neighborhood lit up the sky with celebratory fireworks in the early evening hours of New Year’s Day, families streamed into Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist church for what has become an annual tradition for parents who lost their children to gun violence. 

 

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