Under the Hat: Hail of Gunfire - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather, Events

Under the Hat: Hail of Gunfire

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  We do not live in Compton, California or Detroit Michigan or Washington DC.  We do not live in Laredo, Texas.

  Most of us live in or at least within shouting distance of Erie, PA. 

 And yet, as I write this, we have had 10 shootings in the last six days. 

  Given our size, that's a week working hard to keep pace with some of the most violent neighborhoods in the country. 

  Especially disturbing is police pulling up to a car parked along the interstate. 

  They found the body of a Pittsburgh man inside shot in the head.

  The car had numerous bullet holes.

  The driver had run away.        

  The investigation brought police to this surveillance video of an east Erie store near where the drive-by took place.

  "Why now?" people ask me. 

  The economy is probably a touch better than it was 12 to 18 months ago. 

 Many of us have at least decent lives here in our little lakeside village; a place usually known as much for its lack of major crime as it is for its major snowfalls. 

  Yes, an astonishing 30% of people in the city live on or below the poverty line and that's no doubt a factor.        

  But as I'm reminded quite often through the lives of the people I meet; being poor does not make one criminal.

  In a touch of irony, the strength of the region and its best hope for jobs in the next ten years is also adding to the violence. 

 Erie has always been a stopping point between the Midwest and the east coast; from carts pulling goods to Amtrak trains. 

 As such the hope is that Erie can resume its mission as a logistics hub with efforts like the Inland Port Project. 

 So it should come as no surprise that people moving guns or drugs from places like Detroit to places like Newark or New York City would also pass through town.

  Police agencies are promising to work harder, share intelligence and target known offenders most prone to violence. 

  We wish them the best and hope this week is more aberration than harbinger. 

 Erie is known for a lot of things, but a daily hail of gunfire shouldn't be one of them.

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