DENVER — It's been more than three years since Roger Cobb lost his son to teen violence, but the pain and grief is still felt today.
"It was very devastating, shocking, surreal, you know? At times, I still don't believe it," Cobb said.
In July 2018, a 19-year-old stabbed Reese Grant-Cobb to death during a fight near East Colfax Avenue and Pearl Street in Denver.
Reese was just 17 years old.
"I miss him every day. He's in every room in my home," Cobb said.
The stories of teens dying or getting hurt because of senseless violence light a fire in him every time, he says. This week alone, a total of nine teens were shot at or near schools in Aurora.
"It’s very painful. It opens up the wound again," Cobb said.
At a Colorado Black Round Table discussion Saturday morning, Cobb and others discussed possible solutions to this ongoing problem.
"Yes, the parents absolutely have to be involved in the young people's lives, but maybe we need to help those parents out? Just, bottom line, maybe we need to pick up the phone? Maybe we need to show up where those parents are and say, 'How can I help you?'" Jonathan McMillan, Denver's Director of Youth Violence Prevention, said at the meeting.
There is no easy fix, Cobb says, but he suggests perhaps having more community resources and mentors will help give teens something to focus on and get away from trouble.
"I know there's something that you want to be. I know there's something you want to do. Find that thing. Find that person that can help you down the road, that can give you that roadmap to show you what it looks like," he said.
But action, whatever that may look like, needs to happen now before another life is lost or changed forever.
"Everyone has a purpose," Cobb said, "and it isn't to take another life."