YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Roughly 25 gunshots can be heard on a home surveillance video from Tuesday night. It happened near South Hazelwood on Youngstown’s West Side, just down the street from a school.
“I mean, we don’t even go out and sit on the porch anymore because we’re afraid,” said Lisa Brooks.
Brooks lives on Belle Vista and says it’s no better down her way. She says it hasn’t always been this way, but within the past two years, there’s been an extreme shift.
“I have a 9-year-old and when we go outside to play, this is what we find,” Brooks said as she held a shell casing that she found right in her yard.
Brooks says she worries for her child and other children in the area.
“You know, I worry about her, and you’re afraid just to go for a walk because you don’t know if somebody is looking for somebody else or whatever it may be, and then you are in the wrong place at the exact wrong time,” she said.
Brooks says the only way things will get better is if more people speak up.
“I understand that it’s very scary when you see something and you speak up because you’re afraid of retaliation,” she said. “But at the same time, I’m a firm believer that if you see something is wrong that is going to hurt another human being or animal, you need to speak up and say something.”
Captain Jason Simon of the Youngstown Police Department agrees and says they are taking many measures to fight against the gun violence in the city.
“We follow these trends very carefully. We have a crime analyst who compiles all of our data for us,” he said.
But, they need the cooperation of the community to help.
“None of us can do it without the help of the public and there’s many things that the public thinks we know about, but oftentimes we don’t,” Captain Simon said.
On March 31, another viewer sent in video of gunfire near the corner of Austin and S. Schenley avenues. In mid-March, police were called to the West Side for three unrelated shootings all within one week.
Captain Simon encourages anyone who sees or hears gunfire in the city to call and report it to YPD.