Community leaders speak out after two teens killed in the past week

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Two Wichita teenagers have been killed in just the past week.

Last Tuesday, an 18-year-old died in a shooting on South Estelle.

Myranda Keck was inside a car with her mother and boyfriend when another car came up and opened fire on them.

The Wichita Police Department has not arrested anyone in that case.

The second homicide happened Sunday night in the 900 block of South Pineridge.

Police say the 18-year-old man was one of several people in the home.

Police say they answered a knock on the door and a group of men armed with handguns got in.

That is when they say a fight broke out that led to the fatal shooting.

Police arrested a 17 year old, but they’re still looking for others.

With two homicides involving Wichita teens in last than a span of a week, it has caught the attention of those who mentor our youth.

David Gilkey, with Rise Up For Youth, mentors close to 150 young men, ages 14 to 18, in the community.

“I don’t want to say it is the norm, but it seem like it is starting to get that trend that it is the norm,” said Gilkey.

Gilkey spoke about what he thinks are some of the problems revolving around the continued violence.

“The problem is we need to come up with jobs for these young people, we need to come up with other things for these young people to get into, besides running the streets,” said Gilkey.

While Gilkey recognizes some of the problems, he’s also working toward finding a solution.

“Me and some people are working to put together this teen summit that we plan on doing in August at the Boys and Girls Club, I think it is time to hear from our young people,” said Gilkey.

Other local programs are trying to do the same.

Tim Rorabaugh is a mentoring coach with Youth Horizons, which has more than 130 mentoring matches in their program.

“We take surveys from our mentors and parents, and we try to use that information to try to figure out if we can do something better,” said Rorabaugh.

Rorabaugh says he’s also open to collaborating with other organizations that serve the youth, hoping that could help.

“We’re always looking for opportunities to point our families and our youth towards something else that will also continue to help build them up,” said Rorabaugh.

It’s a sentiment echoed by Gilkey.

“We are all doing some of the same things, but I think it is time that we all come together, and work together and share some of our ideas,” said Gilkey.

Wichita police say there were four teenage homicide victims in all of 2017.

That was up from 2016, when there were two homicide victims, age 18 and under.


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