"This is the worst I've seen it, open these community centers, give these kids other things to do," said Charles Rogucki who lost his sister to gunfire in Coney Island. His sentiments were backed by a rally that took place in the neighborhood yesterday, drawing dozens who want to bring an end to the recent violence. Unfortunately, they had to step over crime tape to do so.
There was a shooting on Mermaid Avenue just hours before the march was set to start, which splattered blood across cars on the block. One man was shot in the chest and the leg, and the suspect reportedly fled from the scene on a bike. And recently, a 2-year-old and a 14-year-old have both been shot in the area. A suspect in the 2-year-old's shooting was fatally shot a few days after the incident, in what many believe was a revenge killing.
The Coney Island Coalition Against Violence was created in January after the NYPD reported a rise in 60th Precinct murders, and member Mathylde Frontus said at the march, "We're really trying to change a level of consciousness in the community because it has to do with the mind set. They have resolved that this is the way to deal with conflict and while that is happening we're ducking for cover." As Staten Island has seen, community coalitions don't always solve everything. However, neither does police presence. Coney Island is open to suggestions.