Updated: June 19, 2021 01:28 PM
Created: June 18, 2021 10:14 PM
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — The violence in Rochester is scaring the people who live here. A shooting this afternoon on Peach and Clarissa streets claimed another life. This is Rochester's third homicide this week and the 30th this year.
Two children, ages three and eight are now left without a mother after she was shot and killed in her car, right in front of them in the Corn Hill neighborhood Friday. People who live in the area told News10NBC what they saw.
"I saw six people running to that car over there and they were screaming, then I saw cops just converging on the area,” Tom Wiegand said.
Wiegand says at first he thought the popping sounds were fireworks, when he realized they were gunshots, he started counting.
"I want to say I heard 14 or 16. It was a high number," Wiegand said. "It was a high capacity magazine or whatever they were using.”
News10NBC spoke with Mayor Lovely Warren about what she's doing to put a stop to these violent crimes. She said she's been in contact with ATF to track illegal guns. She alluded that the uptick in gun violence is related to gang retaliation. This is not the first time we've heard the word "gang".
The Rochester Police Department told News10NBC this week, that we in fact have gangs here in Rochester, but it’s at the street level.
"That this dispute has been going over back and forth between different groups and it needs to end, it needs to stop, and we are going to hold those people accountable, not only those people but we need to find out how all of these guns have gotten into our city,” Warren said.
The Rochester Police Department says they are relying on the community's help to get any information they can when it comes to solving crimes. Chief Cynthia Harriett-Sullivan said any shooting is difficult, but it’s even harder when children are involved.
"At three, you should be worrying about where your teddy bear is or what your snack is going to be," Harriett-Sullivan said. "Not worrying about dodging bullets and watching your mom die right in front of you.”
Mayoral candidate Malik Evans also released a statement saying, "This afternoon on Clarissa Street, a mother was gunned down in cold blood with her children in the backseat. Our city has reached a place of darkness beyond comprehension. Three murders in three days in broad daylight and 30 so far this year. This is horrifying and we simply cannot allow it to become our new normal. It is critical that anyone that has information on this tragedy and any others come forward. This carnage on our streets must cease. My prayers are with these children and all those affected by violence."
Rochester Police say they’re working with the Major Crimes Unit in hopes of getting any lead they can to make an arrest in this recent shooting.
Church leaders say they too believe recent gun violence is related to gangs within the City of Rochester.
Rev. Lewis Stewart said he thinks the city as a whole has turned a blind eye to the root of the issue.
"Really the only people that can do these targeted shootings are the gangs, and there are hidden gangs in Rochester that people are just not talking about and we have to," Stewart said. "I'm sorry but we have to root out these gangs."
Stewart said he thinks there needs to be new strategies in order to fight the problem.
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