Residents express concern over gun violence on E. Bolton Street

Published: Sep. 20, 2023 at 10:42 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 20, 2023 at 11:10 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Residents of Savannah’s Bolton Street say they are frustrated and afraid of what they say their neighborhood has become.

Wednesday night, they rallied together to talk with law enforcement about what can and needs to be done.

Residents say they no longer feel as if their neighborhood is even a neighborhood. Instead, many refer to it as the Wild West. In fact, residents and police say that just Wednesday morning shots were fired on Bolton Street.

“I’m a hostage. I don’t want to do all that. I don’t want to be a snitch and I don’t want to be none of that, but you need to help us.”

A cry for help from residents of East Bolton Street.

“You’ve got people coming from different neighborhoods and shooting in board daylight. They had like two not even 10 minutes ago.”

According to the Savannah Police Department, there have been four shootings in the area of East Bolton St. since August 1st. In that same time period, police have responded to 242 calls just in that area. Of those calls, 41 were in the 1100th block of east Bolton.

Precinct Captain F. Small - Lloyd says that moving forward she has plans to resurrect ideas in the eastside precinct like foot traffic officers and readily available communication.

“This type of policing that I’m talking about is gonna be the change for the eastside precinct and I promise you that, you ain’t gonna hear that. You’re gonna have an officer that’s gonna come to you and listen to you and hear you.”

Gina Barragato has lived on Bolton Street for the past five years and says that the gun violence has just gotten out of control.

“All my life in South Florida and I have never experienced it like this, and to be so close to it. I love it here and I dont want to leave here but it’s scary.”

Mayor Van Johnson also talked to the group about gun violence and his intention of creating a ordinance to crack down on stolen guns.

“We have had 288 guns stolen this year, through Sept 2nd of this year, 288 Guns from cars, 150 of those guns were stolen from unlocked car.s”

The hour meeting gave the residents the chance to get information from of law enforcement and city government and ask for the help they say they desperately need.

SPD says that Wednesday’s meeting was exactly what they were hoping for, which was an insight into the fears of those who live in the area.