ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The most recent mass shooting in Rochester which left two people dead and another two injured has those who call Driving Park Avenue home demand justice and anti-crime resources.
As Rochester Police investigate what led to the deadly shooting on the 300 Block of Driving Park Avenue Sunday, Stop The Violence For Rochester activists and church leaders argue that change in the current crime spike will only come from the root of the problem — support in good jobs and education.
When joining relatives of one of the crime’s victims the morning after, local activists highlighted that neighborhoods are deprived of opportunities, which in return push people to turn to crime to get by.
“Where are the mentorship programs, where are the peacemaker fellowships, the job readiness programs that were promised to us,” Mike Johnson with Save Rochester said. “Where is the violence interruption programs, where’s all the data that they said they would be collecting?”
Upon arrival at the scene of the shooting, police officials said they encountered a “chaotic” scene with 75-100 people attempting to leave.
Driving Park Avenue residents who live near the location of the incident believe more often than not, senseless disputes people have online or through gang activity lead to shooting like these.
“If could be your brother or sister, friends, cousins or anybody could be out here getting shot all because of this,” Genesis Richardson of Rochester said. “Just think before you act.”
Reverend Myra Brown has spent much of her religious career serving Rochester and has seen troubled teens and young adults not get the help they need coming to churches that can’t offer more.
“I think the young people know they need more than talk,” Brown said. They need options and those options mean we have to decide whether we’re going to invest in keeping young people alive in this community.”
Church Pastors like Myra Brown believe that once people see local economic and justice systems work more for them, the community will help itself and then feel more inclined to care for others.
Police have not released the identities of any of the victims, and ask anyone with information to come forward. Family members of the victims are arranging a candlelight vigil soon to honor their lives.