Gang fears prompt two Denver high schools to close

Monday, September 9, 2013

Fears that a gang feud could escalate further prompted the closure of two high schools Friday and the postponement of a homecoming dance.

The Rev. Leon Kelly, a gang outreach leader, attended Friday's funeral for Reysean Abram, a 13-year-old boy killed in a suspected gang-related shooting outside a house party a week ago. Mayor Michael Hancock and scores of friends and relatives also filled the pews at Friendship Baptist Church of Christ Jesus.

"There is tension from both sides right now, the Bloods and the Crips," Kelly said during the 11 a.m. funeral. "The gangs are still alive and well. ... It goes back and forth, back and forth."

East High and Manual High released students near midday after what Denver police described as a "credible threat" at the schools. Police spokesman John White would not elaborate on the nature of the threats except to say that the one at East was made against the school in general, not a particular individual. Manual also postponed its Saturday night homecoming dance, citing "safety concerns."

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