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Urban Underground works to empower young people to help stop gun violence

"Guns aren't going to solve the problem"
Posted at 10:18 PM, Oct 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-08 23:18:51-04

MILWAUKEE — 14-year-old Nyla Carter has grown up near 8th and Cherry streets in Milwaukee, and she woke up to gunshots Thursday night.

"I'm used to it, because I hear it a lot. I just got used to it, it’s just, but it’s still sad, though," Carter said. "It’s like, why?"

Milwaukee Police say four people were shot—3 fatally—including 30-year-old Terrence Taylor and 19-year-old Tanija Turner.

Turner's mother tells TMJ4 News it all started with a driver trying to get into the parking lot.

"All because somebody couldn't get by. Or didn't try to get by. And my daughter's life was taken," Rosemary Turner said.

Tanija Turner
Tanija Turner

Three other shootings happened overnight Thursday, including an incident at 37th and Wright. That's where investigators say five people were shot.

"Guns aren't going to solve the problem," Carter said.

Carter and her lifelong friend, Mia Moore, are part of Urban Underground, a youth leadership and social justice organization.

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"When you come to Urban, that’s the time to make the difference, and to look to how you feel and what needs to be changed," Mia Moore said.

Sharlen Moore founded the organization. Her work focuses on providing support and skills to high school students when it comes to school, family and mental health.

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"Nyla or no other young person should say this is normal. We should have more opportunities where community is getting their needs met, people that say, you know what, what happened last night, or what happened yesterday or what happened today is not acceptable. That’s not normal. Here, we have resources, we have therapists, we have people to support you," Sharlen Moore said. "That needs to be this response every single time."

Sharlen Moore says the work of the Milwaukee Office of Violence Prevention and the 414 Life program are doing vital work.

She says what happened Thursday night is heartbreaking.

"It also is a wake up call for us to say, you know what, what are we missing? What do we need to do more? What is it that our community or our young people are crying for?" Sharlen Moore said. "And it's really just providing our community and young people with the tools that they need to learn how to handle difficult situations."

"People need to learn how to control their anger, control themselves," Mia Moore said. "People don’t need to die if you’re angry, that’s a life at hand."

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