Long Island Community Looks for Answers to Gun Violence After Shooting Death of 12-Year-Old Girl - NBC New York

Long Island Community Looks for Answers to Gun Violence After Shooting Death of 12-Year-Old Girl

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    Long Island Community Looks for Answers to Gun Violence After Shooting Death of 12-Year-Old Girl

    Days after a 12-year-old Long Island shooting victim was laid to rest, her village's mayor says changes are underway to prevent another child from being killed from stray gunfire. Greg Cergol reports. (Published Monday, Oct. 26, 2015)

    Days after a 12-year-old Long Island shooting victim was laid to rest, her village's mayor says changes are underway to prevent another child from being killed from stray gunfire.

    After funeral services for Dejah Joyner at Union Baptist Church Friday, frustrated Hempstead residents begged the media to keep the focus on violence in the village of 54,000.

    "Something needs to be done," said Keith Harrison. "Hopefully you guys will not just be here today and go away."

    When NBC 4 New York returned Monday, the village mayor said he thinks things will change. For starters, police patrols have already been increased. Soon, 80 new street surveillance cameras will be operational. 

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    [NY] 'Where Are You Safe?' 12-Year-Old Girl Killed by Stray Bullet in Home Mourned at Funeral
    Mourners attending the funeral of a 12-year-old girl shot through the window of her Long Island home said Friday that her death was senseless and they hope her killer is brought to justice. Greg Cergol has more.
    (Published Friday, Oct. 23, 2015)

    "They are being put up all through the village, especially in spots we know are hot," said Wayne J. Hall.

    Hempstead already utilizes a ShotSpotter system that alerts police when shots are fired. 

    The Guardian Angels have also started patrols there to help convince the community it's OK to help police. 

    "The culture has been 'snitches get stitches,' and people are afraid," said Hall.

    Tammi Mitchell isn't one of those fearful Hempstead residents, however. She's part of a group looking for solutions to the violence many have seen firsthand. 

    "Enough is enough," she said. "A young man was stabbed right across from my house and I watched him die." 

    School Mourns Girl, 12, Killed in Shooting

    [NY] School Mourns Girl, 12, Killed in Shooting
    Dejah Joyner was gunned down Friday while eating dinner at her Hempstead home. Greg Cergol reports.
    (Published Monday, Oct. 19, 2015)

    Mitchell has seen improvement since the incident two years ago. And the number of shooting incidents in Hempstead has gone down since 2013, going from 37 to 27 the next year and 11 so far in 2015, as has the number of gun violence killings, going from 7 in 2013 to 4 so far in 2015, according to the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services.

    But critics say Joyner's death proves more needs to be done. 

    "We've got to fight these problems like the plague that they are." 

    Joyner died Oct. 17, a day after she was shot in the head when a bullet pierced through a plate-glass window at her family's Hempstead home. Police have made no arrests.

    "This child was in her own home, wasn't bothering a soul," said a relative, Jacquelyn Ancrum. "So where are you safe?"

    Police are investigating whether gang activity led to Joyner's shooting and whether someone else in her house was the intended target.

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