Jackson community seeks to end streak of gun violence

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JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) – Numbers involving shootings and homicides continue to rise in Jackson and it’s for that very reason that more than a hundred people came together looking for answers on how the city’s gun violence can stop.

Since July, there have been six homicides in Jackson County and police say one death is too many which is why Thursday’s gathering took place.

It wasn’t just another meeting however, it was a time for the community to voice concerns and seek answers.

“We do have a problem with violent crime,” said Elmer Hitt; Director of Public Services for the city of Jackson.

In the course of seven months, Hitt says there have been 19 shootings in the city of Jackson and the question is…what is the root of this gun violence?

“Part of the fix is getting the dangerous people off the streets,” Hitt stated.

Director Hitt says it’s about citizens building a relationship with police and then coming forward with information.

“Quite often some of these cases rely upon witness testimony and to be quite frank sometimes without that testimony it’s very difficult to prosecute a case,” said Hitt.

One by one people spoke up, looking to law enforcement and city officials on how to make a change for the better.

One young man told the group that it starts in your home.

“That’s what a lot of people don’t understand…they get mad at the council, police officers, this and that but you as a parent, aunt or uncle you have to reach out to the youth to really show them that you care,” said Tyqurrius Hardman.

Hardman says it strikes a chord with him because he too has lost loved ones to gun violence and like many in the crowd, he wants hope to be restored in the city.

“It’s hard, it’s a tough pill to swallow and families shouldn’t have to go through this,” Hardman stated.

“This isn’t just a law enforcement issue, it’s a complete community issue,” said Hitt.

Officials say that many of these shootings are tied to drugs and a lack of resources that lead people down the wrong path.

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