Stats reveal gun violence on the rise in central precinct - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Stats reveal gun violence on the rise in central precinct

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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

Shootings are on the rise in the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department's Central Precinct.

Crime statistics reveal 17 cases of aggravated assault with a gun so far this year in the Central Precinct, not including the three shootings in the past week, one of which was fatal.

Compare that to 16 cases through mid-April of last year, and certainly the most out of all the precincts.

Neighbors said they are afraid to leave their homes along, and business owners worried about safety.

The manager of Kennedy's Fried Chicken said the man who was shot and killed Sunday near his business on the corner of 38th Street and Waters Avenue was one of his regular customers.

"I'm sure this week I'm going to be down 50 percent of business at least," said manager Laith Alhamad.

Alhamad said the crime in the area is affecting business.

"This is the only store we have, and it's the only way to survive," said Alhamad.  

He said they've been here nearly six years, right in the middle of one of the most violent neighborhoods in Savannah.

But yesterday's shooting hit a little too close to home. Malcom Mitchell, 21, was found shot on the street corner, a young man who was a familiar face in the area.

"I knew him as customer. He came about twice a week," said Alhamad.  

Now people want change. Most people in the area said they are living in fear. One person didn't want to show his face on camera for that very reason.

"I'm ready to move from here, there's way too much killing on Waters Avenue," said the neighbor.

WTOC reached out to police for answers, but they were not ready to comment. 

People believe there needs to be some sort of intervention.

"The whole community, I believe, is responsible," said Alhamad.

"It's going to get worse. They need to start praying and going to church," said the neighbor. "That's what they need to do."

Police are still looking for the suspects in the shootings from over the weekend. 

If you have any information, call Crimestoppers at 912.234.2020.

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