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Kanajai Burton stayed up all night after his son was born.

The baby was born early and spent his first months in the neonatal intensive care unit. At all hours of the day, Burton checked the hospital’s video stream and watched his son doze and wriggle under the masses of wires keeping him alive. When the baby came home to Burton’s apartment, the 18-year-old changed his diapers. He got up in the night when he cried.

Burton smiled every time his boy smiled, the teen’s mom, Casandra Watkins, said. He was thrilled to be a father, even if it delayed his plans to graduate high school and play arena football. Burton named his son Sekani, which means joy and laughter.

But Burton never got to graduate. He never saw his joy’s first steps. Instead, Burton was gunned down and killed on Colfax Avenue a month after his 19th birthday — one of 88 people killed in homicides in Denver last year.

“Someone looked at my baby and decided his life wasn’t worth living,” Watkins said. “My baby became a crime scene.”

— Full story via Elise Schmelzer, The Denver Post 

Denver homicides fell slightly in 2022, but non-fatal shootings rose — and more teens are being killed

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See more great photos like this on The Denver Post’s Instagram account.

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