UPDATE: Calvin Cotton Jr., 15, died Tuesday, becoming the second teen to die following shootings last Wednesday.
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Street life claims 'a very good kid'
Omaha's latest homicide victim had just completed the 10th grade and was filled with potential. Now it will never be realized, a mentor said.
Trevaughn Hubbard, 16, died of his injuries after he was shot Wednesday near 44th Avenue and Evans Streets.
In a related shooting, Calvin Cotton Jr., 15, remained in critical condition Thursday. Cotton was shot several times, only minutes after Hubbard was, near 48th Street and Meredith Avenue.
Hubbard attended Blackburn Alternative High School. Fred Marisett, the school's program director, said he had known Hubbard since he was a child. He said he was a quiet, good-looking young man.
“Trevaughn, at heart, was a very good kid, but he had a difficult time being engulfed by the street life,” Marisett said. “Just like many other kids, he was a kid who I believe had a chance at life, but now that chance is gone.”
Police on Thursday said the shootings of Hubbard and Cotton were connected, but they declined to elaborate.
After Hubbard was shot, a woman said she heard about six gunshots and then saw a teenage boy on the ground. The woman said she also saw a green sport utility vehicle with a broken window speed away.
Cotton, who reportedly was shot in the back and a leg, had also completed 10th grade this year, at Omaha North High School.
He participates in activities offered by the Midwest Trailblazers, a nonprofit youth mentoring organization led by Justin Wayne.
Wayne, the group's president, said Cotton was a key part of the group's 16-and-under basketball team, which came in second at a tournament last weekend.
A lot of youths in the organization look up to Cotton, said Wayne, who is also an Omaha school board member.
“Kids (have) got to know who they're hanging around and what they're doing at all times,” Wayne said.
He plans to talk about that message at the next practices. “We probably won't even practice,” he said. “We'll have a conversation about everything.”
Omaha 360, a coalition of violence prevention groups, has been working to reduce violent crime among youths for about five years.
The group's leader, Willie Barney, said it's tough to hear news of the death of a teenager.
“When you see someone so young lose their life, I think it impacts everyone,” Barney said. “Our hearts go out and our prayers go out to the family.”
Omaha 360 members have had success in providing alternatives to violence and crime, Barney said.
That includes things like after-school programs, summer jobs and leadership training.
“When we have more options like that available ... we have seen measurable decreases in negative activities,” he said.
Anyone with information about the shootings is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 444-STOP (7867) or at www. omahacrimestoppers.net, or to text “OPD” to 274637 (Crimes). Callers may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000.
World-Herald staff writer Roseann Moring contributed to this report.
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