Shootings on the rise in Batavia

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Batavia Police are alerting the community to recent gun violence in the city after one person was shot and there’s been three other cases of shots fired since the start of the year.

They sent an open letter to people who live there describing steps they are taking to protect them. The average number of shootings per year in Batavia is one or two.

So the fact that they already have four is concerning to police. And they have plans to do something about it.

“We want our citizens to know that we take it very seriously, it’s not the norm here, and we are going to do everything we can to see that it does not continue in our city,” Batavia City Manager Rachael Tabelski said.

The city of Batavia has 15,000 people. City leaders say the recent increase in gun violence is a lot for them.

“It does appear that is some connection between a couple of them at least,” City of Batavia Police Chief Shawn Heubusch said.

The cases of shots fired happened on Vine Street, Delinger Avenue, Washington Avenue, and Holland Avenue. Three have happened in the past few weeks.

Tracey lives in Batavia and was there when the shooting on Holland Avenue happened.

“I thought it was firecrackers, really I thought it was,” Tracey said. “But my son told me it wasn’t, he say’s mom it’s a gun going off. And we came outside and everyone was coming out of their houses trying to figure out what was going on. Everyone called the police, they showed up and it went from there.”

In a letter sent to people in Batavia on Monday the police chief and city manager outlined steps they are taking to protect their community.

They will be dedicating personal and equipment to get guns and drugs off the streets. They also will be partnering with the Genesee County Sheriff’s office and the State Police, and are calling on the governor’s office to allocate resources to Batavia.

The chief says they will also enhance the current neighborhood enforcement team.

“We’re putting together a special unit in response to this so we can be more proactive in the neighborhoods that we know that there are issues in,” Heubusch said. “And dealing with the subjects that we know are potentially responsible for these acts. We just want to make sure that the community knows that we’re out there to make them feel safe — make sure that we are addressing this as proactively as we can.”

The police chief says that the shootings are still under investigation. He is asking people to be vigilant and to call 911 if you see anything suspicious.