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‘It’s unbelievable’: Madison residents concerned about uptick in gun violence

MPD says so far this year, ten people have been struck by gunfire.
Published: Apr. 8, 2021 at 5:43 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Last night is not the first time Sarah has heard gunfire in her neighborhood.

“It’s scaring people,” said Sarah, a resident on the city’s east side. She says on Wednesday night she heard the ricochet of bullets outside her window. “I slept in the bathtub last night so scared,” she said. “It’s unbelievable.”

She says she’s lived in Madison for nearly 30 years.

“I remember when I first moved to Madison, this happened once or twice a year,” said Sarah. “It’s happening every single month.”

Other neighborhood residents tell NBC15 they’re also concerned about the uptick in gun violence, especially it causing harm to innocent bystanders.

Madison Police say shots were fired near the intersection of Hoard Street and Pawling Street, and officers found an unoccupied SUV with damage from several bullets. According to Madison Police Dept. records, so far this year ten people have been struck by gunfire and last weekend’s shooting marked the city’s first homicide of 2021.

“Gun violence is one of the top priorities for the Madison Police Dept.,” said Public Information Officer Tyler Grigg. “We do have a lot of resources that are dedicated to these types of investigations.”

Grigg says investigators try to see if any shots fired incidents are related or tied to drugs, gangs, or stolen vehicles.

“Each incident is of itself an isolated incident but when we start connecting the dots and see if suspects have been involved in other recent gun related violence then we can help investigate that way,” said Grigg. “It’s not isolated to anyone part of the city, but it’s a city-wide trend that we’re seeing.”

At the city’s Thursday media briefing, Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway addressed the rise in gun violence and offered her support for President Biden’s remarks on gun control.

“I’m particularly pleased to see that the Biden-Harris administration is investing in substantive, community-based violence interventions,” said Rhodes-Conway.

She says she’s hopeful the city will be able to receive federal support to fund programs aimed at crime prevention strategies.

Sarah says she believes Mayor Rhodes-Conway needs to do more for her own neighbors.

“It’s not just the guns, it’s the people shooting and using those guns,” said Sarah. “We need to do something about this.”

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