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Recent shootings in Syracuse have happened in same area

Tom Magnarelli
The corner of Midland Avenue and W. Colvin Street is close to where one of several recent shootings have taken place.

Two shootings in Syracuse on Monday and two more shootings on Sunday all occurred about a mile from each other. A majority of the shootings that have happened recently are in a certain area of the city’s south side.

In the last 30 days, there were 14 shootings in Syracuse and 11 of them happened on or close to Midland and Oakwood avenues, a 2.5-mile stretch running parallel with Interstate-81.

Those streets run through predominately minority areas that are two of the poorest sections of the city.
The two people that were killed included a 23-year-old and a 15-year-old taking Syracuse’s homicide rate up to 20 for this year. One innocent bystander who was shot was a bus driver who was saved when the bullet hit his cell phone which he kept in his pocket.

These areas fall under Syracuse Common Councilor Khalid Bey’s district, who said it is a misconception to assume that these shootings are drug related or necessarily gang related.

“The issues, unfortunately, are a lot more petty,” Bey said.

Bey said a simple misunderstanding among young people can build momentum resulting in a fatal mistake.

“It puts us in a position where we require increased police presence, but even more so for those who may be juvenile, we need increased parental presence,” Bey said.

Bey said he supports hiring more police and enacting legislation to neutralize gun violence. 

“I think that we can do our part on the ground to put some tools in place to further empower not just our police department but even our neighborhood business organizations and most importantly our constituents to improve quality of life in those neighborhoods that our having those challenges,” Bey said.

Syracuse Police Sgt. Richard Helterline said the department is working on each of these shootings and trying to find the underlying cause. Helterline did offer some good news, an arrest was recently made in regards to a homicide that occurred in July.

Tom Magnarelli is a reporter covering the central New York and Syracuse area. He joined WRVO as a freelance reporter in 2012 while a student at Syracuse University and was hired full time in 2015. He has reported extensively on politics, education, arts and culture and other issues around central New York.