Jason Schmidt didn’t mince phrases when describing the current enhance in gun violence.
Noting the “proliferation of unlawful handguns in our streets,” the district lawyer for Chautauqua County mentioned the violence was “destroying our group, leaving all of us feeling unsafe and actually killing folks round us.”
Feedback from the DA this week come amid an ongoing investigation right into a deadly taking pictures Aug. 19 on Prendergast Avenue in Jamestown together with a handful of different gun-related incidents reported all through the county.
Most just lately, although, a 35-year-old man was killed after a barrage of photographs had been fired round 1 p.m. within the 800 block of Prendergast. One other man was injured in what police mentioned was a focused assault, and prices have been introduced to 2 metropolis residents related to the taking pictures.
“It’s heartbreaking for the households of the victims and for all of us,” Schmidt advised The Put up-Journal. “I’m personally affected and others have expressed the identical. It’s straightforward to really feel outgunned and defeated by what now looks as if an on a regular basis, widespread prevalence during which somebody pulls out a gun, somebody shoots a gun, households hear gunshots from their dwelling rooms, and somebody will get shot. It’s sickening.”
Gun violence just isn’t solely a Jamestown challenge.
On July 5, an 18-year-old Cassadaga man died after he was shot within the decrease again throughout a “scuffle” within the space of Reed and Park streets in Sinclairville.
Chautauqua County Sheriff James Quattrone mentioned the person was amongst six folks when an altercation broke out. Sooner or later, the sufferer recognized as Joseph Misciagno was struck within the again with a single gunshot.
After being shot, Quattrone mentioned the teenager bought right into a truck and drove for a couple of quarter-mile earlier than the automobile left the street and struck some timber.
Misciagno was transported by ambulance to the hospital and later pronounced useless.
About two weeks in a while July 17, two juveniles had been injured after being shot in a automobile within the metropolis of Dunkirk. In accordance with police, the incident occurred as a automobile was touring south on Route 60. Witnesses mentioned it was handed by one other automobile, and occupants started taking pictures on the automobile they had been passing.
The occupants sought security and medical help on the Crimson Apple Kwik Fill in Fredonia. The juveniles had been transported to Brooks-TLC Hospital for remedy of their accidents.
“I guarantee you that every member of regulation enforcement — each cop right here in our county — and each one who helps the police and cares about what’s taking place, is totally dedicated to turning issues round,” Schmidt mentioned. “It’s a sophisticated downside, partly the results of exterior elements and influences.
“However the dedication and dedication to seeing this by means of to the purpose the place we are able to see a reverse within the present pattern is there. We try our absolute best.”
GUN VIOLENCE DOWN STATEWIDE
Statewide, it seems gun violence is trending downward in comparison with 2021.
Gov. Kathy Hochul this week mentioned the state’s effort to restrict the move of unlawful weapons into New York was displaying outcomes. She mentioned 6,007 unlawful firearms had been seized by police companies from January by means of July, 20% greater than in the identical seven months of 2021.
Throughout that very same interval, the governor famous, there have been 11% fewer gun-related incidents leading to harm this yr than in 2021 in communities which can be a part of a state-led gun violence initiative.
Nevertheless, it’s a special state of affairs to date this yr in Jamestown, which has seen extra accidents as a result of weapons than the final two years mixed. By way of Aug. 13 within the county’s largest metropolis, there have been 16 confirmed shootings whereas six folks have been injured. The taking pictures Aug. 19 just isn’t included in these statistics.
“My message to the mothers, dads, sisters, brothers and cousins, uncles and aunts of Chautauqua County, and to our leaders on each degree together with these whom folks look as much as, we have to speak about the issue,” Schmidt mentioned. “A few of these with unlawful weapons are younger and could be reached. Take what’s taking place round us and make it the primary matter of dialog.
“Ask them in the event that they know anybody who has an unlawful gun. Ask them why. Get them speaking. For defense? To settle disputes? To intimidate folks? There are higher methods to get what you need, ways in which don’t scare or hurt or kill folks. Ways in which received’t land somebody in state jail for a number of years or for much longer. Each considered one of us must work collectively to show issues round.”