19th Ward neighbors want answers
Updated: Thursday, February 27 2014, 08:27 AM EST
Rochester, N.Y. - Julius Smith grew up in the 19th Ward. He left for the military and when he returned, he was shot while walking down the street.
It was a case of mistaken identity. That was 10 years ago, but Julius said now the violence has gotten much worse.
He said the triple murder on Chili Avenue is disturbing and frightening. Though police said the killing was not random, Smith said that doesn’t matter. He said innocent people can get caught up in violence intended for someone else. It happened to him.
Joanna Smith said to her the killing appeared targeted.
“It was a hit, I grew up in the hood and to me, it looked like a hit,” Smith said.
Smith told us she had breakfast in the Chili Family Diner just down the street from where three people were killed.
Smith said it doesn’t matter if people are directly involved in drugs. Drug dealers are targeting family members, just to send a message, she said.
Rochester police have not commented on how or why the victims were killed or even positively identified them.
“It’s horrible and it’s sad and it’s hurting a lot of families,” Smith said.
The 19th Ward Neighborhood Association urged people to attend a meeting Wednesday night to talk about public safety. This was a regularly-scheduled meeting but group president LaShay Harris said concerns about this triple murder would likely be what people want to talk about.
Harris said they have concerns about three people killed in a home and they want answers.
Harris said the fact that police aren’t saying a lot about this feeds fears, but she said we have to be patient and allow police time to do their job and found out who did this.