OAKLAND, Calif. - Violence from a school shooting that injured six adults in Oakland shocked parents on Wednesday. There has been a continuing string of gun violence in the city over the last two weeks, but the violence is once again touching a school community.
One dedicated group from the community went to the school campus involved in the shooting right away. They wanted to try to understand the violence and how to prevent it.
"No one should come to a school shooting ever, be it your kid, be it someone else's kid, said Mario Juarez. He had to stop for a moment; tears streamed down his face as he thought of his son at BayTech Charter School and students at the other three schools caught in the shooting on the King Estates campus. He says there has been violence here before.
"About a month ago, there was a kid that was stabbed at Rusdale, which is the continuation school," said Juarez. "He was pistol whipped. There was a gun recovered from school. There was a gun recovered a month ago."
"When I got the call, I broke down and I cried. I went to King. I went to all these schools. I was one of these kids," said Nina Carter. She grew up in Oakland. Now she's what is called a violence interrupter with an organization called Youth ALIVE!. They're a community-based grassroots effort to stop violence and the pain people are feeling with shooting after shooting.
"Anytime a shooting or homicide happens in the city of Oakland, we are dispatched same time the police is," Carter said. "People are out fighting to live. People are in survival mode and that shouldn't be the case."
Carter understands because she was once the one who held the gun.
"I got to tell you how I felt when I picked up a gun to shoot somebody. What triggered that? What is the root of that anger? I felt abandoned, rejected. I didn't fit in nowhere. I was country. I had a speech problem. I was bullied at school. I didn't fit in," she says.
She's now one of a small army of community soldiers who've done soul-searching to understand the reasons they turned to violence, but are now helping others.
"Some people can clock off at 8 o'clock. We can't. It's our reality. Our phones is ringing. We're getting text messages and we're constantly trying to work, because we're trying to be part of the solution with Oakland," says James Baldwin, a violence interrupter with Youth ALIVE!
The group has boots on the ground at every single shooting or homicide.
SEE ALSO: Oakland school shooting injures 6 adults
Troy Watson, a violence interrupter with the group, says sometimes there's more than one call a day and that there can be as many as two or three.
"We still be pulling up to crime scenes at 2 a.m., 3 a.m. in the morning. 10 at night. Whatever. Just to show support and see if we can show support and give resources that the people need," Watson says.
They're asking the community to join in the effort to stop violence before more lives are lost.
"We need the parents to pay attention to their children. Get in [their] business," violence interrupter Morrice Dennis says. "Get them off the iPads. Check [their] phones. Get in their business."
"If you need someone to talk to we're here," says Baldwin. "We don't do the police work. We don't even engage with the police. We're here for the community."