ROCHESTER, N.Y (WROC) — Those who live and work along North Clinton Avenue expressed they do not feel safe in their own neighborhoods because of continuous gun violence like this.
People tell us they are too afraid to go outside with their families and this spike in crime is affecting businesses in the community. That stretch of N. Clinton Ave where the three-year-old boy was shot has seen seven homicides so far this year alone. Now they demand real change.
After hearing a 3-year-old was caught up in the latest shooting on their street, many feared the next one could be their kids.
“I have little nephews and boxes that live in Hilton, but I don’t ever want them coming out to the city because I’m scared,” North Clinton resident Tino Monroe said. “I don’t even let them come visit me out here because it’s that scary.”
“Our co-worker has a 3-year-old daughter who’s here most days and she’s the light of my life,” Ciara McGillivray, CEO of Father Tracy Advocacy Center, told us. “So, it’s just heartbreaking for the community here and the family.”
Locals have noticed as shootings become more common, fewer people tend to be out along the street. Carmen DeLvalle, who works at a food stand off of North Clinton explained crime is hurting business.
“This impacts us because there’s not too many people coming now because they worry something will happen,” DeLvalle stated. “We say to customers sometimes you can wait in your car, and we’ll bring your food to your car.”
Along the street sits the non-profit Father Tracy Advocacy Center, dedicated to improving the quality of life for the area. They blame years of neglect and investments from the city, pushing people to turn to sell drugs and other crimes.
“They don’t see themselves as having opportunities for jobs or education,” McGillivray told us. “And things like that so they end up getting involved in the drug scene here or gang violence here. I think ultimately that’s what’s causing the violence.”
They call on all levels of government to come together and make smart investments to give these neighborhoods more resources to help people find better paths in life.
“Making sure that the money is going to organizations and coalitions that are actually here doing the way and know the community well,” McGillivray continued.
Up and down the stretch of N. Clinton Ave. where the shooting occurred Rochester police did have more of a presence patrolling every block, putting the minds of some locals at ease after dealing with gun violence all year.