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With increase in gun violence, a victim's brother says the names disappear from headlines, but their grief continues

DeShawn Gott was shot and killed more than three years ago. His little brother explains that the dead are more than just a number.

TOLEDO, Ohio — There have been 16 shooting deaths so far this year. 

That’s nearly double the nine shootings at this same time in 2020. 

At 12 years old, D'Juan Gott lost his older brother DeShawn in a shooting.

RELATED: TPD investigating deadly shooting

"Stay close and love your family as long as you can because death can bring you together or tear you apart," D'Juan said.

He's 15 now and this is his advice to families going through a similar sense of loss.

It's wisdom a 15 year old shouldn't know firsthand.

"Someone called me and said your brother got shot, so then it was like 10 minutes later I got a call from my big sister. She had confirmed it to me that he was dead," D'Juan said.

He remembers the night it happened like it was yesterday.

D'Juan says he dropped the phone and cried.

Next was the funeral, then the court case where he saw his brother's shooters put behind bars.

RELATED: 18-year-old charged with involuntary manslaughter sentenced to 17 years in prison

"Both of our families are hurt. They're going through the system and my family is definitely hurt because my brother is in the ground."

Now, D'Juan plays basketball, picked up rapping -- something his brother loved -- and has even started a clothing line using his brother's signature necklace.

For him, healing is a lifelong process, but he wants people to know his brother isn't just a number.