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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – On Wednesday, June 4th, Springfield residents woke up to hear that one person had been killed in an overnight shooting, and by 5 o’clock in the afternoon, another person had been shot and killed on a city street.
One resident said, “Very uncalled for and things that are going on are very senseless.”
Just 10 days before Wednesday’s two murders, a teenager was shot and killed. And in those 10 days, at least 5 others were wounded in four different shootings.
Last year, 19 people died in Springfield. The year before that, there were 12 homicide victims. Now, so far this year in 2014, 5 people were killed in the City of Springfield.
Adam Gomez and Armando Olivares grew up seeing violence in Springfield’s North End.
Gomez said, “Right now they are fighting for food. There’s no jobs for these young kids. There’s nothing for them to do. There’s not a safe haven for them to hang out. They are going to find something to do, and it becomes illegal activities.”
They’ve launched “One Springfield,” to develop community outreach programs that they hope will make a difference.
Olivers said, “Youth empowerment programs and after school programs, something of that sort. Parents need to get involved. Parents need to start caring more. Parents need to know what their children are doing and who they are with.”
“One Springfield” will host a forum Thursday night at 6 at Chestnut Middle School to find ways to reduce gun violence among young people. The meeting is open to the public.
Also Thursday, 22News will ask Springfield’s new police commissioner how he plans to deal with the growing gun violence.