The Albany community and its leaders are grappling with yet another wave of gun violence.
Owusu Anane, a city councilor representing the Pine Hills neighborhood, is calling for a state of emergency.
“There are some that believe that just because it’s happening to majority Black and brown people there is no sense of urgency,” he said. “So to my representatives in government, leaders in the community, let’s act.”
Early Monday morning, a 15-year-old boy was shot on Hamilton Street near Ontario Street. Anane said it was the first shooting in the neighborhood in four years, but one too many.
It marked the fourth shooting in a 24-hour period and is another added to a staggering list of shootings on the year.
“We’re not going to survive if this continues,” said Vinny Scavio, who owns Paesan’s Pizza and Restaurant.
Scavio opened the shop with his brothers 26 years ago when things were different.
“It’s turned into almost a ghost town,” he said. “People are scared to walk these streets. As soon as it gets dark out it becomes dangerous.”
The uptick in violence has also forced Scavio to close earlier and to alter his delivery services.
“My drivers don’t want to work,” he said. “Once it gets to a certain time, they don’t want to deliver no more.”
Anane said it's stories like these that warrant a state of emergency. He wants the city to prioritize resources to address the ongoing violence and is calling on Albany County to assist the city in its efforts to curb violence.
“The time for talking is over,” he said. "We have a gang violence problem in the city of Albany and have to admit it.
Albany Police Chief Eric Hawkins said the department is always open to additional resources, but is confident in what is already in place.
“We have the resources right now to do what we need to do,” he said. “And that’s illustrated by last night.”
Hawkins was referring to four arrests made Monday into Tuesday. He said the arrests were related to the violence over the weekend, including the shooting on Hamilton. Officers patrolling nearby heard the gunshots, responded to the area and were able to take a suspect into custody. Hawkins said three of the suspects are teenagers.
“We have groups of young men who have feuds,” he said. “These are young, undisciplined and violent men who are using handguns to resolve these conflicts.”
Police continue to investigate the shootings and are reminding community members to say something if they see something.