'No one's here.' Durham students shaken up by violent week involving gun violence

Cindy Bae Image
Friday, March 24, 2023
Durham students shaken up by a violent week
This makes at least 15 people under the age of 18 shot so far this year in Durham.

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Riverside High School lost a student and saw another appear in court this week facing charges in a triple shooting that took the life of two 16-year-olds and injured another overnight Tuesday.

"He's so young and they're around our age and it's like, it could have been any of us," Jaiden Sayonkon said of Angel Canales, 16, who was one of the two teens found dead on Wednesday.

Suspect in court after 2 teens found dead near Durham school, another injured

"More so just traumatized right now because a lot of people knew them so it's like you just lost a friend."

Sayonkon's reaction comes as two more teens were shot in Durham hours after the triple shooting suspect, who also went to Riverside, appeared in court on Thursday.

A 14-year-old was shot on East Main Street and a 15-year-old was shot on NC 54 Highway.

WATCH: Durham City Council responds to shooting

"No one came to school today," Sayonkon said. "It's very quiet today and normally it's loud."

This makes at least 15 people younger than 18 shot so far this year in Durham.

In February, a double shooting took the life of a 17-year-old Hillside High School student.

"These incidents are too frequent," DPS board member Jovonia Lewis said. "It's not normal and we cannot continue to do business as normal."

School board chair Bettina Umstead wondered how school officials can help students cope and stay out of trouble.

WATCH: DPS Chair Umstead discusses teen violence

ABC11's Lauren Johnson talks with DPS Board Chair Bettina Umstead about the problem with youth gun violence plaguing Durham.

"Our young people didn't have an opportunity to become elders and that bothers me," Umstead said. "How do we stop this cycle?"

DATA: ABC11 Neighborhood Safety Tracker

A second day of violence among youth saw two more young people shot, one with life-threatening injuries.


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