Shots Fired Near A Gun Violence Awareness Event In Mount Vernon

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“Gun violence is not a major problem in Westchester County,” CE Latimer said Friday, March 26th at the press conference announcing the launching of the Westchester County Gun Violence Prevention Taskforce. Maybe he should tell that to the people of Mount Vernon!

There were shots fired Friday, June 7th near a gun violence awareness event for the National Gun Violence Awareness Day event outside the Doles Center located at 6th Avenue and 4th Street in Mount Vernon.

News 12 reported, detectives say police were already outside the Doles Center for the National Gun Violence Awareness Day event near 6th Avenue and 4th Street when they heard the gunfire.

Congressman Jamaal Bowman who had a constituent services table at the event tweet about the event hours later;

Mayor Patterson-Howard’s issued a statement to Black Westchester on the shooting incident at 6th Ave and 4th Street, hours after the event:

“This afternoon at the Doles Center, hundreds of children, adults, and seniors gathered for an amazing Gun Violence Prevention Event. The air was filled with music, laughter, prayers, the aroma of barbeque, and a sense of unity. The Youth Shelter of Westchester, Moms Demand Action, The City of Mount Vernon, The Youth Bureau, Department of Recreation, Nubians with Attributes, SNUG, 914 L.O.C.K., Youth Cred, Cupcake Cutie, and other community partners, joined by the Police and Fire Department, hosted the event. Despite shots being fired in the vicinity, unrelated to the event, we had a positive gathering. We will not be deterred. Mount Vernon is a vibrant community filled with hard-working, honest people, children, and seniors who deserve to live in a safe, hopeful, and healthy community. We will continue our work towards that end. We are a resilient and resourceful community of faith. We will not be terrorized by a few people who engage in senseless violence. We will provide services and support to people who want to change their lives for the better. We will actively investigate, arrest, and incarcerate people who do harm and commit violent acts in our community. I have great confidence in our police department and the hard-working officers who work to protect the community. Community safety is not just the responsibility of the police but the community as a whole. We will continue to engage the community in this work. We encourage anyone who has information to contact the Detective Division at 914-665-2510.”

Nicholas Mastrogiorgio President of the Mount Vernon Police Benevolent Association blamed part of the problem of senseless gun violence in Mount Vernon on mass exodus of offices. Despite being budgeted for 208 cops the MVPD current only has 164 members and has lost 140 members due to transfers to other departments and retirements in the last four and a half years.

“This shooting that occurred in such close proximity to a rally against gun violence is a frightening example of how dangerous the situation is in the city of Mount Vernon. We’re down over 40 officers with more leaving this month. We continue to loose more Officers than we’re able to hire, If Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard and department leadership don’t take immediate steps to improve conditions at the Mount Vernon Police Department our officers and Mount Vernon residents will continue to be in harms way. And things will continue to get worse.”

Police say no one was hit by the gunfire and that there was no evidence of property damage.

Residents and activist like Jesse Van Lew of Save Mount Vernon have been calling for a plan to address this senseless gun violence and more gun buyback events in Mount Vernon, especially during times of gun violence awareness.

Police tell Black Westchester no one was hit by the gunfire and that there was no evidence of property damage. They are asking anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the Mount Vernon Police Department Detective Division at 914-665-2510. All calls will be kept confidential. Anyone can also submit an anonymous tip via the department’s “Text-A-Tip” by texting “MVPD” and the tip to 847411.

County Executive George Latimer who is challenging Congressman Jamaal Bowman in the upcoming Democratic Primary said that “gun violence is not a major problem in Westchester County.” maybe he should tell that to the residents of his hometown, Mount Vernon where according to the MVPD PBA President, “as of May 26th there were 15 related assaults so far this year, That is the same number number to the same time, last year.”

AJ Woodson
AJ Woodson
AJ Woodson is the Editor-In-Chief and co-owner of Black Westchester, Host & Producer of the People Before Politics Radio Show, An Author, Journalism Fellow (Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism), Rap Artist - one third of the legendary underground rap group JVC FORCE known for the single Strong Island, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian, Documentarian, Activist, Criminal Justice Advocate and Freelance Journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale, Sonicnet.com, Launch.com, Rolling Out Newspaper, Daily Challenge Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine, Word Up! Magazine, On The Go Magazine and several others.

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