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19th Ward neighbors concerned over rash of violence

Posted at: 03/29/2013 5:26 PM
By: Lynette Adams

What would you do if there was a spike in violence in your community? It is a reality for people living in one section of the 19th Ward. Four shootings just this week. People are telling police they are nervous and afraid.

36-year-old Dametri Everett was shot and and killed Saturday on Depew Street. The next day, a man and woman where shot on the same street during a vigil for Everett. Tuesday, a man was shot just one block away on Salina Street.
 
Thursday night, gunfire rang out again. Police say shots were fired into a house on Thurston Road. No one was hurt.

Late Friday morning, Rochester Police announced the arrest of 21-year-old Jerry Ellington. Ellington has been charged with second-degree murder in connection with the death of Dametri Everett. Police say they don't think he is responsible for all the shootings, but they think the crimes are related. Police say community members helped them make the arrest.

News10NBC walked through the neighborhood talking to people and they said this violence is frightening. Some people worry about ending up in the wrong place at the wrong time. So many residents are staying indoors.

Patricia Shinners, 19th Ward resident, said, “I chose not to come out of the house for that reason.”

Patricia Shinners is a 19th Ward mother of a two-year-old says she stays in her house. It's just safer especially since the shooting this week. She says she wants to move. Her daughter can't play outside.

Shinners said, “It's just ridiculous. It needs to stop because it's over nonsense.”

It's the same for Daniel Kendricks, who has lived in the 19th Ward his whole life. Now he's helping to raise his grandson. When they're out, Kendricks says he's constantly looking over his shoulder.

Kendricks said, “When you gotta do and you haven’t' been doing it. For the elders as well. They out here pushing babies around it's so uncomfortable for them.”

Rochester Police have stepped out patrols in the area. Chief James Sheppard says people shouldn't think their neighborhood has become unsafe. He says this is not random violence.

Chief James Sheppard said, “What we've seen in neighborhood based violence. What we believe is retaliation going back and forth.”

Lashay Harris grew up in the 19th Ward.  She's now the president of the 19th Ward Neighborhood Association. She says people are working with the police. She's says they're not going to sit by and let the violence continue.

Lashay Harris said, “Right now, there are folks in that area, Depew and Chili. They're organizing, they're organizing, they're not afraid. They're going to do what it takes to make their neighborhood safe and that's what we're all doing.”

Chief Sheppard is blaming this rash of shootings on neighborhood gang violence. Harris says people can get involved by joining the neighborhood PAC-TAC. To get involved, call the 19th Ward Neighborhood Association at 328-6571.