Two shootings on the same block in the same week in Niles

NOW: Two shootings on the same block in the same week in Niles

Niles, Mich. - Neighbors living on Poplar Street in Niles are speaking out after two shootings occurred in one week, saying that gun violence is becoming a problem and is disrupting life in their once peaceful neighborhood.

“Within the past six months, we have had police officers down here almost every month, with gunfire,” says one concerned neighbor, who declined to go on camera.

Neighbors are saying that it wasn’t always like this, however. Pastor Bryant Bacon says, “We’ve been having this issue for the past couple years.”

On Friday, just before 10 pm, Niles police officers responded to a shooting near Poplar and Seventh Street, where a man had been shot twice. Before that, on Tuesday, a 15-year-old was shot right in front of Pastor Bacon’s home, suffering injuries to his arm and torso.

There is no word on whether the incidents are connected, and while both victims are expected to survive, Pastor Bacon, who lives on Poplar with his wife and children, is upset by the recurring violence. “We got a bunch of young kids who are basically battling it out with each other, with guns,” he says. “And until we can get that under control, we’re gonna have that- it’s probably gonna spread all across the city at some point.”

The concerned neighbor says it’s been getting worse: “We’ve had gunfire before, but never this prominent.” And it’s become so bad, some are afraid the violence is going to start affecting them directly. “I worry about text messages from my wife about what’s going on in the neighborhood,” the concerned neighbor says. “Our kids can barely go outside, we don’t go outside unless it’s during the day.”

The residents of Poplar street are pleading to those responsible to put the guns down. “Guns are never gonna be the answer to your problems,” says the concerned neighbor.

Pastor Bacon says,  “I pray that they stop, because somebody’s gonna get hurt really bad. Because what’s happening right now is they’re shooting at one another and somebody’s not gonna live to see another day, or- particularly in this area- somebody else is gonna get hurt who had absolutely nothing to do with this.”

At this time, there is no word about suspects in the Friday shooting. ABC 57 has reached out to the Niles Police Department, but no one was available for comment.

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