Friends of teen killed in Burger King shooting call Milwaukee's gun violence 'overwhelming'

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- A 16-year-old girl was the first teen killed in Milwaukee this year. Niesha Harris Brazell was shot while on the job. The girl's friends now have to deal with the trauma of losing her. 

The days are longer and the nights are colder for a group of Milwaukee teens. The teens' dearest friend and sister was shot Sunday, Jan 2. during a robbery attempt. She was working the drive-thru at the Burger King on 51st and Capitol. 

"I was really traumatized from what I seen that night, you know. I couldn't stop shaking. everybody wanted to talk to me but it was hard for me to talk," Mariah Edwards said. Edwards worked at Burger King with Brazell. 

"Y'all took something so precious away from us," Antoinajah Edwards said. 

The teens say Milwaukee's gun violence can be so overwhelming.

"It be so sad, it be girls younger than us that we see on the news," Mariah said. 

"It's something we try not to think about," Antoinajah continued to say. 

"Losing a friend and witnessing it can have that more dramatic grief, so it's just a little bit more sharp," Kerry Eskra said. Eskra is a licensed professional counselor with RISE Youth and Family Services. 

She says there are a number of ways to cope when someone is experiencing sorrow.

"Breathing exercises, different relaxation techniques, one of the ones that I'll teach youth who've experience trauma is a progressive muscle relaxation which is kind of just tensing your muscles, holding it and then slowly releasing."

It's also good to stay grounded, recognizing what you can see, feel, taste, smell and hear. She says the most important tip is having someone around you to help you through those dark moments.

"A trusted adult or a parent, family member can help you process it, it doesn't have to have long-term effects." 

As for Brazell's friends, it is a long road ahead.

"It's hard, we got to go back to school, we not going to school with her," Antoinajah said.

Eskra mentions that sometimes people don't want to talk or open up, and that's okay. She's says it's your job to be a distraction to help change their thoughts.

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