ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Residents in Albany are working to figure out solutions to the recent string of gun violence, hoping to turn things around.
“I’m hoping this will wake us up, but how many Destinys are we going to have out there?” said resident Lillian Garland.
It’s a question Garland doesn’t want to think about. The recent rash of shootings have hit close to home with the death of 15-year-old Destiny Greene.
“Every time me and my sisters are out, hearing sirens, I’m like, someone got shot. Turn on the news, somebody got shot,” Garland said.
Garland has lived in the West Hill neighborhood for 30 years. She’s seen the stark contrast of what it was like for her growing up versus kids nowadays. The difference, she says, really comes down to community.
“We looked out for each other back then. Now people are afraid to say something to a kid. And say, ‘Hey. You know, you shouldn’t be doing that,” Garland said.
Someone who’s not afraid to speak up is Jamil Hood.
“You want to teach kids to follow through in everything they do in life,” Hood said.
Jamil Hood’s House of Hoops sits inside the Frank Champman Center a couple blocks away from the latest shooting. The building, itself, has a bullet hole from a few years ago. Hood says his goal is to turn things around.
“To lose a child over some senseless killings? It’s bananas. I mean, outrageous,” Hood said.
Chyna Forney, another teen murdered earlier this month, has had a lasting impact on the mentor.
“Shannon, the mom, is such a hard-working woman. For her to lose her baby, I can’t fathom what she’s going through every day to look in her [daughter’s] bedroom and say my baby’s not here anymore,” Hood said.
Hood’s offered space to the Albany Police Neighborhood Engagement Unit inside his building. They’re a part of a greater police presence seen in the streets the past of couple days which comes in response to the increase in gun violence.
While everyone is working to figure out how to curb the problem of gun violence, Hood said there’s one place people should start.
“It’s a combination of the music, the drugs that they’re using, the poor peer pressure that they’re facing, but I’ll go right back to coaching at home, because the accountability starts at home,” Hood said.