Maplewood neighbors frustrated by violence after murder on Dewey Avenue

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ROCHESTER, NY. – The man shot Wednesday at Dewey and Magee avenues has died. Police say 21-year-old Eric Martin had just dropped off a relative at work on Dewey Avenue when someone in a passing car sprayed the parking lot with at least a dozen bullets.

The shooting comes just as neighbors frustrated by violence are resurrecting an old crime prevention tool. News10NBC spoke to the head of the Maplewood Neighborhood Association Thursday on what they’re trying to do.

People who live in the Maplewood neighborhood, what used to be called the 10th Ward are bringing back “PAC-TAC” as a response to rising crime.

“Violence is a, can be thought as a communicable disease. It tends to spread out you know from every contact,” says Maplewood Neighborhood Association President Bill Collins.

A shooting right in the middle of the day. The victim, a man in his 20’s, murdered.

“Its unacceptable especially at 3 o’clock in the afternoon to have somebody shot in broad daylight,” Rochester Police Lt. Greg Bello said.

Police haven’t released a motive. Collins says while overall crime is down in his neighborhood, shootings and car thefts have gone up. He blames much of it on drugs.

“It has gone down since a group of dealers moved away last year. So, we’re hoping this doesn’t indicate a new increase in drug activity,” says Collins.

Over the last 14 days (May 19th – June 1, 2023) police responded to 11 stolen cars, eight larcenies, and two assaults in the Maplewood neighborhood according to the Department’s Open Data Portal. The Association is turning to a tool from the past restarting its Police and Citizens Together Against Crime group.

“I believe we’re the only neighborhood that has restarted this PAC-TAC program which is citizens walking the streets to observe and report,” says Collins.

He went on to say the group will hit the streets in a matter of days, but they need more volunteers.

“Right now, you know, we’ve been doing it once or twice a month. But with limited, as far as the amount of volunteers we have and the amount of staffing we get from RPD to support us,” said Collins.

As one of the city’s “hot spots,” Rochester Police tell us they have cameras at the intersection of Dewey and Magee Avenues. Meanwhile, the Maplewood Neighborhood Association is holding a meeting next Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Aquinas Institute.