Dozens of people came out Monday night at the Thea Bowman Auditorium to talk about the increase in the amount of shots fired.
With summer just around the corner the topic is of major concern.
"It’s going to be a rough summer. I believe that if somethin doesn’t calm down. Ibelieve that parents are going to start keepin their kids in the house and you can’t keep a kid bound up long. You have to let them go out, but parents are scared," said gun violence victim Murial Banks.
Some said the city is drastically different from when they were kids.
"Now, today you're afraid to even get the mail from the mailbox, because you don’t know what’s going on," said reverend James Jackson.
They said the violence is more brutal.
"They're telling you what they're going to do and not even moments later you hear that a gun has been let off or your children can’t play in front of the home. It’s just to the point where it’s not safe," said Jackson.
People said that’s why the forum is so important.
"How many tragedies have to go on before this comes to a halt? This is only a little bitty city and this little bitty city havin three gun shots in a row. That’s not heard of in Utica, but it’s like, we're going like Syracuse, Rochester," said Banks.
The most important thing people want from the forum is to come together to fight against violence.
"It doesn’t take one person to change this situation. It takes a whole community to change this situation. One person can’t do it by themselves," said Banks.
People from all corners of the city came out Monday night for the meeting, including Mayor Palmieri, Utica police chief Mark Williams and many local councilmen. They all said the same thing.
The city needs to unite against the violence.
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