Schenectady County

Schenectady shootings on the rise in 2008

The number of shootings in Schenectady during the first quarter of 2008 have increased over the same
PHOTOGRAPHER:

The number of shootings in Schenectady during the first quarter of 2008 have increased over the same period last year, police spokesman Lt. Brian Kilcullen said this afternoon.

He made the comments after March closed out with three shootings in two days, none causing serious injury.

“What we’ve found is that in incidents like those we had on Sunday and Monday, the individuals involved are not randomly targeted.”

The latest shootings came as police and local clergy announced a two-month gun amnesty program, aimed at getting more guns off the street. In exchange for turning them in, authorities would not charge individuals with possessing the weapons.

The program officially began Tuesday and is to run until May 31.

Officials, however, have had only one person come forward, a North Side woman who turned in seven weapons, Kilcullen said. The woman’s husband legally possessed the four handguns and three rifles, but he recently died.

“This is exactly the kind of thing we’re targeting,” Kilcullen said. “If the home had been burglarized and the guns weren’t secure, we would have seven more guns on the street.”

Kilcullen said police are using crime-mapping strategies to pinpoint locations of the shooting and beef up patrols in those areas. However, he said the shootings happened in different parts of the city.

Sunday’s shootings happened on Congress Street and Bridge Street, while Monday’s took place on Frank Street.

No one was seriously hurt in the three recent shootings, but bystanders have been hit in the past, most notably in August, when two women suffered minor injuries while walking near Hulett Street.

Police haven’t made connections between recent incidents, Kilcullen said, but such shootings are often retaliation for prior slights.

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