Recent Shootings Have Residents Calling For Change

Friday, June 10th 2011, 12:21 am
By: News 9

Michael Konopasek, News 9

The shooting that claimed the life of one victim Wednesday night was just the latest violent crime to occur in the neighborhood near N.E. 28th Street and Martin Luther King Blvd. It's all leaving residents and police looking for ways to stop the violence.

Shalonda Edmondson, a mother of two young children, is living in what people describe as a crime-infested area of the city's northeast side.

"[Crime] goes on everywhere, but it's … worser (sic) over here, and they're never going to stop," said Edmondson.

Edmondson and others in the neighborhood say they were not surprised to learn about Wednesday night's fatal shooting.

The crimes are causing community action members such as neighborhood association president Sandra Stutson to take a stand. Most of the residents we spoke with would not go on camera out of fear of gang retaliation, but Stutson showed no such fear.

"I'm going to fight back," said Stutson. "I've been in this neighborhood 52 years.  They just need to stop the madness. They need to stop the violence."

Stutson says "gang bangers" and murderers should cause people to be more pro-active to prevent additional violent crime

"If your neighbors are willing to know who belongs and who doesn't belong and report that to the police if they see something suspicious, that goes a very long way to reducing or eliminating crime in a specific neighborhood," said Sgt. Gary Knight of the Oklahoma City Police Department.

According to the Oklahoma City Police, in the past two years, homicides and drive-by shootings have doubled near N.E. 28th and MLK, while gang-related crime stayed about the same.

The sobering statistics have Stutson offering advice to her neighbors.

"We're going to have to fight back," said Stutson.

The Oklahoma City Police Department says it has focused additional resources in the area, including gang units, to help combat the crime.

In the first three months of this year, there were 82 burglaries, 46 assaults, 10 robberies and two homicides in the 2100 block of N.E. 28th Street.