ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan and Police Chief Eric Hawkins reacting after seven people were shot, including one fatally, late Saturday night in the West Hill neighborhood of the city.
Multiple shots rang out Saturday night outside what was once the Lounge, near the intersection of North Lake Avenue and Elk Street. Of the seven people that were shot, 29-year-old Alexander Bolton of New Bedford, Massachusetts was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
Bolton was located by police at the scene with a gunshot wound to the torso. Shortly after responding, APD was notified of six additional men that came into Albany Med with non-life threatening gunshot wounds of their own.
In response, Albany Police Chief Eric Hawkins released a statement on Sunday.
“This shooting incident is a painful reminder of the traumatic impact gun violence has on individual families and our community. While we are still in the very early stages of our investigation, I am confident we will identify those responsible and bring them to justice.”Albany Police Chief Eric Hawkins
“This is scary, when you hear about people opening fire on one another on a street in the City of Albany, it’s unacceptable,” Mayor Sheehan said Monday.
The vacant building where the incident occurred was previously a club called the Lounge. Sheehan says police were not aware that the building was being used as an illegal club until after the shooting occurred. The city has also since cut off power.
“There should have been no one in that building, it did not have a certificate of occupancy, it was not legally operating as a club of any sort,” she said.
Sheehan said the building has also been cited numerous times, with cease and desist orders are recently as this past spring.
She says the city is continuing to take steps to combat gun violence, but is urging neighbors to help when they can, “When you see something, say something. And I will say, we’ve seen a big increase in calls to the police department, and it helps. It definitely helps. We can’t be everywhere all the time.”
With many of these incidents happening between people that know each other, Sheehan said the city is also expanding its SNUG program.
The program includes “violence interrupters” to meet with people in communities in an effort to help resolve conflicts without firearms.
At this time the investigation remains ongoing and anyone with information is asked to contact the Albany Police Detective Division at 518-462-8039. Anonymous tips can also be submitted to Capital Region Crime Stoppers online or by downloading the free P3 Tips mobile app.
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