This article has been updated to correct the name of the shooting victim who lost his life. NEWS10 apologizes for the error.
ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Albany Police are investigating five shootings that happened over Mother’s Day weekend. They say ten people were shot, including two children.
Mayor Kathy Sheehan, Chief Eric Hawkins, District Attorney David Soares, and other law enforcement officials provided an update Monday afternoon. According to Chief Hawkins, it does not appear that the various incidents are related. No arrests have yet been made.
Officers responded to Village Barber and Beauty on the 200 block of Second Avenue Saturday afternoon for reports of three people being shot. 47-year-old Tyrone Staley died from his injuries. A nine-year-old boy and a 19-year-old man were treated at the hospital for non-life threatening injuries.
Police said another child was shot in the hand on Saturday night in the area of Second Street and Ontario Street. A 37-year-old man was also shot in the back. Both are expected to recover. Law enforcement say they will continue to try to take illegal guns off the streets, but city leaders emphasize they cannot reduce gun violence alone, and are asking the public for help.
“We can put you in touch with people who can help. We have resources. We have access to jobs, We have access to mental health services. We can put people in touch with resources, but every one of us has a role to play in ensuring that we are doing all the we can to prevent this type of indiscriminate, destructive, and reprehensible violence in our city,” said Mayor Sheehan.
Village Barber and Beauty will hold a vigil Monday evening. Meanwhile, a local faith leader is trying to come up with his own solutions to the violence, in the wake of the shooting that killed his own barber and injured a child.
“We’ve got to do something after prayer. We’ve got to get up off of our knees and put that prayer into action,” said Bishop Avery Comithier of Elijah Missionary Baptist Church.
Comithier, a chaplain for the Albany Police Department was at his church just a few blocks away from the barber shop Saturday afternoon.
“I heard the shots so I went up in my car,” Comithier recalled, “and when I found out who it was…he’s my barber, so that took a toll on me. Then, to have to stand over him and give him his last rites, and pray like that, that got to me.”
As the temperature goes up, so typically does the number of shootings. Comithier has a proposal to create satellite stations for his Pastors on Patrol program and law enforcement to have extra presence in areas where crime is high.
Jamil Hood, President and CEO of Hoods House of Hoops on First Street, works with kids through afterschool basketball and writing programs. He’s heartbroken about how young some of the recent shooting victims are.
“Our kids deserve better when they walk in our neighborhoods,” Hood said.
He fears young people are becoming numb to the violence.
“When they turn on the TV they see it. In videogames they see it,” Hood said, “it’s very unfortunate that this is what society is accepting.”
Sheehan said the overwhelming majority of the city’s gun violence perpetrators are adults. Comithier believes kids need a stronger family structure at home, and need to be give access to resources early on to prevent them from getting involved in dangerous activities.
He recently opened an ice cream shop at the church. But, he says parents need to be on board with his programs in order for them to have an effect.
“It’s not just the kids. We have to get to the kids, we have to get to the mothers to let the mothers know what’s available,” said Comithier.