After seven years of dwindling violent crime rates, Elm City residents are reeling after the shootings of two minors in New Haven over the past week, one of which was fatal.
In the wake of these shootings, the New Haven Police Department released the number of homicides, non-fatal shooting victims and shots fired for the period between January 1 and July 23 for the past seven years. These statistics indicate that the number of homicides, non-fatal shooting victims and shots fired over a seven-year period in New Haven have dropped significantly. Homicides in New Haven during this time period fell by 73.7 percent, while the number of shots fired decreased by 70.5 percent.
Despite a 55.4 percent overall decrease in the number of non-fatal shooting victims since 2011, the city has seen a 10 percent hike since last year.
Though crime statistics continue to trend downward, the recent spate of violence has locals concerned.
“Although we take all crimes seriously, it is particularly tragic when the youth of our city are the victims of gun violence,” NHPD Chief Anthony Campbell said in a written statement on Monday. “This is a situation which cannot and will not be tolerated.”
Fourteen-year-old Tyriek Keyes passed away from a fatal gunshot wound last Thursday, four days after being shot near Bassett and Newhall Streets. Keyes was the shooter’s intended target, according to a NHPD press release.
Two days after Keyes’ death, a 13-year-old boy was also found shot near Bassett Street. He is recovering from a non-life threatening wound to his leg, the NHPD statement said. Charles Worthington, a 21-year-old New Haven resident, was arrested by police Tuesday morning for shooting the 13 year old. Worthington faces charges of assault in the first degree, carrying a pistol without a permit and risk of injury, according to the latest NHPD update.
For Pastor Charles Brewer of Trinity Temple Church, this week’s recent shootings are evidence that more work needs to be done to help New Haven’s underprivileged residents.
“We need more community involvement from the clergy, mentoring and outreach services to parents and families living beneath privilege,” he said. “Living beneath privileges causes people to go to extreme measures to get what they need.”
Brewer is also a facilitator of the Joshua Generation Clergy Association, a group composed of New Haven clergy members. The group met Monday afternoon at Brewer’s church to address this month’s uptick in gun crime and discuss ways to prevent further violence. Brewer said he and his fellow clergy members agreed on the importance of making residents in neighborhoods such as Newhallville, where the two teens were shot, feel comfortable in and connected to their communities.
New Haven has seen five homicides, 33 non-fatal shooting victims and 75 fired shots since Jan. 1, 2017.