TACOMA, Wash. - More than a month after a 16-year-old was shot and killed, his friends and family still gather at the scene of his death.
On July 30th, police say 16-year-old Jamone Pratt was shot on his friend’s front porch on the 4600 block of J Street in Tacoma. He died from his wounds.
On September 5th, weeks after the shooting, more than a dozen friends and family stood at the sight where Pratt died.
“It hurts. It’s hard. There’s really no words to describe it,” said 17-year-old Reeta Kaleopa.
Kaleopa stands next to a tree covered in mementos honoring the life of Pratt. She says for the last few weeks, she and her friends have come to this memorial every day to remember Pratt.
Kaleopa says despite several arrests being made in Pratt’s case, it will not bring her friend back.
“It doesn’t change nothing,” she said.
The people mourning the loss of life in this Tacoma neighborhood are kids; one local group is working to make sure this sort of violence among young people does not continue.
“It’s sombering, man. You’re sitting with your homeboys one day, yucking it up, chilling, doing things hanging out in the park, then the next week you’re going to a funeral," said Chris McManus.
McManus is an outreach worker and case manager for RAIN (Rising Above the Influence).
The group works to make connections with members of the community who are at risk. They hit the streets of Tacoma and directly contact young people. The goal is to give these at risk members of the community an alternative to violent activities.
McManus says he's helped get dozens of people back into school, or worked to get them jobs.
RAIN has been around for about two years. They have a 9 person team, but are adding more to the group. For more information on their efforts click here.