Erie Police concerned about recent rise of shootings in the city

Local News

Erie Police are concerned about the number of recent shootings in the city, especially teens in the 16503 zip code.

There have been three people shot and 12 shots fired calls since last week and it’s mostly teens that are involved.

“We’ve had shooters as young as 14 and homicide victims as young as 14,” said Dan Spizarny, Chief of Erie Police Department. “These kids should still be in school and the problem is some of these problems may end up developing and happening in school or out of school.”

This comes after multiple shootings since last week.

Recently, the shooting happened in the 1100 block of Pennsylvania Avenue left a 17-year old boy shot in the backside. Police believe that 17-year old Nysear Buckner, along with others, began to open fire.

“Even though he’s been caught shooting two individuals in April and he’s out on bond waiting his trial, he participates in another shooting, at a basketball court on church grounds next to a daycare center,” Chief Spizarny said.

Erie Police are confident that partnering with community organizations will help tackle the recent increase in crime.

“Building more community policing efforts and figuring out ways to get the resources brought into the community more,” said Lori Pickens, Coordinator of the Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation.

Pickens and the Federal Crime Reduction Initiative hope those objectives are approved by the U.S. Justice Department to go forward.

Meanwhile, Unified Erie, along with the Mercyhurst Civic Institute, plans to address these teens and others to stop the violence.

“We want them to be productive members of our community and stop the violence, or else they will get the full force of the attention of law enforcement.” said Amy Eisert, Director of the Mercyhurst Civic Institute.

Eisert says seeing teens behind the gun is a concern because, from 2017, those pulling the trigger are people in their 20s and 30s.

On Friday, the City of Erie will give the Justice Department a plan to address the rise in shootings.

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