GJ area is Colorado's 2nd deadliest neighborhood

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) -- A new report from the I-News Network reveals Grand Junction has one of the deadliest neighborhoods in the state when it comes to gun deaths.

Grand Junction Census Tract 8, the area south of I70-B between the 5th Street Bridge and 29 Road, had the second highest number of gun deaths per census area from 2000-2011 in Colorado.

The deaths aren’t from violent crime, however. Suicides make up the majority of those deaths. There were 20 deaths total; 17 suicides and 3 homicides.

The deadliest neighborhood was one in Colorado Springs with 24 total gun deaths: 12 suicides and 12 homicides.

Shelley Millsap, licensed professional counselor with Behavioral Health and Wellness, said the statistics show an alarming public health concern.

“We need to be aware of what’s going on and how to intervene effectively so the numbers can go down,” Millsap said.

The I-News report also revealed five of the state’s eight top neighborhoods for suicide gun deaths are in Mesa County. Millsap said being direct with someone you suspect may be having suicidal thoughts is crucial to intervening, especially with children.

On Monday, researchers at the Pediatric Academic Societies meeting in Washington D.C., revealed a study indicating one in five children who are at risk for suicide live in a home where they have access to guns.

“I think in raising awareness on prevention, we also need to raise awareness on gun safety,” Millsap said.

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