CHICAGO (CBS) — Some people in south suburban Dolton are scared to go for a walk or even drive down the street because of a spike in violence lately.
“You’re afraid to walk to the store,” said Pastor William Fleshman of Dolton’s Abundant Living Christian Center. “You’re afraid to go in the backyard and to have a barbecue.”
People are scared.
Fleshman said he hears it every day.
“They’re afraid. They want something done,” he said.
Recent killings have rocked the community.
A shootout at a used car dealership injured a police officer. Days later Marshia Bowman was shot and killed driving her children. Akeira Boston, 16, was killed sitting in a car outside a convenience store. And just days ago, there was a fatal drive-by shooting.
Those are four of the violent crimes in Dolton CBS 2 mapped out this week. Many were reported on or near Sibley Boulevard.
Thursday night brought a new mark on that map, just down Sibley in Calumet City, where a man was shot and rushed to the trauma center.
In another neighboring community, Riverdale, police found a woman’s badly burned and strangled body in an alley.
“It is alarming,” said Mayor Riley Rogers. “And I’ve had some of my residents and some visitors say, ‘Is it safe to come to Dolton?'”
Rogers said violence isn’t just up in Dolton.
“There’s criminal activity in some of the communities that surround us,” he said. “They’re just not highlighted. I say that we are doing all that we can with the manpower that we have. We’re going to make sure that we catch these offenders that committed these recent crimes.”
And now Fleshman is calling on the community.
“I don’t think this is a buck that can be passed,” he said. “It’s time as a community that we take some ownership for what’s going on in our community.”
Calumet City police are also investigating a homicide from Thursday night. They say they’re still in the process of determining if it actually happened there since the victim was dropped off in Chicago.