SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Hearts remain heavy in Syracuse days after the deadly shooting of 11-year-old Brexialee Torres-Ortiz.

NewsChannel 9 spoke with Clinical Psychologist at St. Joseph’s Health Dr. Monique Winnett on how to cope when there’s a tragedy in a community.

“There’s a sense of community grief for people living in the community to acknowledge that something like this could actually happen. That their neighborhood might not be as safe, they might not feel as comfortable as they used to because this could have a profound impact in terms of an individuals sense of safety and sense of comfort living where they’re living.”

Dr. Winnett

Taking all the emotions that come with a tragedy like this and putting them into action in a positive way, could help spark change.  

“I think that it’s a little bit different for each person in terms of what feels meaningful for them. For some people it’s joining organizations that in this case would be against gun violence or against community violence or other people might benefit by doing things to support the family or the school this little girl went to.”

Dr. Winnett

Winnett says now is the time to come together.  

“Just having open and honest communication about how detrimental this is on an individual level, but also on a societal level and doing what we can to support eachother and bond together and like I said really look for and see some positive and be the positive change in this.”

Dr. Winnett

For kids directly affected by this, Dr. Winnett encourages parents to open the door to a conversation, let their child know you are there to listen, and let them take the lead.