Kids camp staff makes a plea for help after deadly shooting - Tucson News Now

Kids camp staff makes a plea for help after deadly shooting

(Source: Tucson News Now) (Source: Tucson News Now)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The raucous, joyful, and playful sounds are what should be expected inside the south side Tucson Boys & Girls Club.

But lately, the tone at the Roy Drachman Clubhouse at Mission Manor Park has taken a cautious tone, with safety on the mind.

"To stay calm and keep everybody safe. It's a challenge," said Clubhouse Director David Jimenez. "I won't lie to you. It's an incredible challenge when something that tragic happens in a community like this."

That tragedy is another shooting. By Jimenez's count, it is "the fourth shooting we've had in the last six months here in the park."

The latest shooting had the Tucson Police Department investigating the incident where two men were killed around 10:15 p.m. Wednesday on the west side of Mission Manor Park at 6100 South 12th Avenue. 

When officers got to the Boys & Girls Club parking lot, after multiple reports of people hearing gunshots, they found people giving CPR on the ground to the two men who were shot. Police searched the area for a shooter, but no one was found.

Medics pronounced both men dead a short time later.

By Thursday morning, crime tape was still blocking the parking lot and the children's path to summer camp at Mission Manor School.

Staff members told Tucson News Now that they are forced to explain the situation to children as young as kindergarten age.

"They're going to grow up and they need to know what's going on around them. We want them to know the truth of what's going on here in our community. We want to keep them safe. We want them to be able to tell us the truth, and come to us," said Susan "China" Saucedo, who works at Mission Manor School.

Every day, she walks kids across the Boys & Girls Club parking lot in groups to the clubhouse. They saw the police investigation underway Thursday morning.

"They're incredibly curious, but at the same time, they're so used to it that they become so desensitized to it. 'Oh, somebody else got shot. Somebody else got stabbed,'" Jimenez explained.

Preparing his staff to counsel the kids has been one of the toughest tasks for Jimenez. Especially, when they need someone with more expertise to deal with the severity of a fatal shooting.

"We don't have any counselors or anybody that can work them through this. So we see it coming out in their behavior, but they're not dealing with it on a daily basis," he said.

He looks for volunteers, and is pleading with Tucson Police and community activists to take action. He said he is one of several people working with outside groups to increase safety in the south side park.

Jimenez knows that the children's safety, both mental and physical, is a community effort.

CRIME COVERAGE: The KOLD News 13 mugshots of the month are available HERE.

"We need help. We need people to come out and help us to keep this safe, to drive that violence and the drugs out of this park, so we can reclaim Mission Manor Park - so we don't have to worry about this anymore for adults, children, anybody."

No arrests have been made. Police ask anyone with information on the shooting to call 911 or 88-crime. You can remain anonymous.

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