They wore different logos on their sweatshirts, but students from eight metro-area high schools had the same message Friday: Stop the violence, end the shootings and start changing Omaha.
More than 50 students and administrators began the “Omaha Youth Peace Movement” with a press conference at Omaha's South High on Friday.
In all, four districts were represented: Omaha, Papillion-La Vista, Millard and Bellevue.
The recent shooting death of South junior Montrell Wiseman prompted his friends and basketball teammates to organize the meeting.
Tired of seeing only adults speaking out against shootings, South students asked their peers to get more involved, to speak up and to stop the apathetic responses to violent behavior.
Kids shouldn't have to worry about wearing the wrong colors in the wrong neighborhood, said Malik Crawford, a senior at South.
“This really needs to stop — not just in Omaha but everywhere,” he said.
The neighborhood a student is from shouldn't mean anything, said Tyree Peter, a junior at Benson High.
“We shouldn't even be here right now,” said Doreal McGraw, a South sophomore.
The students encouraged their peers to talk about ways to rid Omaha of violence, stop retaliating to shootings and work together so they don't lose any more of their friends.
Police have arrested six Omahans in connection with the shooting death of Montrell.
Prosecutors have said Montrell's shooters were driving around early Sunday searching for someone to kill “in rival gang territory.” Montrell and friend Desjuha Wilkinson, both 16, were shot about 2:30 a.m. outside a relative's home near 21st and Binney Streets.
Wilkinson suffered injuries that weren't life-threatening.
Authorities have said Wiseman was an innocent victim.
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