Fourth death this school year devastates high school in Camden

CAMDEN, N.J. (WPVI) -- The triple shooting in Camden early Sunday morning claimed the life of the fourth person with ties to Woodrow Wilson High School this academic year.

Sincere Howard, 17, a junior at the high school, was shot and killed along with Shirleen Caban, 19, in Camden at a park on the 2900 block of Pierce Avenue in the city.

"He was a wonderful child," said Jacqueline Mendez, a main office employee at the high school.

Mendez said the likable junior was known for his smile and basketball skills but was also dealing with the trauma of gun violence himself. Howard's best friend, Diquese Young, a 2018 graduate of Woodrow Wilson, was killed in an accidental shooting in October at the age of 17.

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Mendez said the school community has been on an emotional roller coaster since Young's death which was followed by the murder of Alex Medina, a 2017 graduate. In February, Nerreada Robles was killed after being hit by a police cruiser responding to a call.

"Our children can't adapt to regular life, how are they supposed to adapt to this type of life" asked Mendez.

The tragedies have left the school community shaken and young people broken.

"I still can't believe it. This got me mad," said one young man at a makeshift memorial to Howard and Caban in the park where they were shot. Community activist Hamzah Hamid said he is worried the trauma youth in Camden are facing is going untreated and will lead to more violence.

"These kids are going to school, living with trauma of people that are veterans and there's no aftercare after that, said Hamid.

Mendez said grief counselors will be on hand to speak with students and staff but she recognizes more needs to be done outside the school to help alleviate the pain inside.

"A change has to come. I don't know how but I have to keep praying it will," said Mendez.

As of Monday afternoon the third victim of Sunday morning's shooting was in the hospital receiving treatment.

The Camden County Prosecutor's office said no arrests have been made in the triple shooting.
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