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19th Ward tires of violence

Rochester, N.Y. -- Police identified the man killed inside a Chili Avenue liquor store Sunday night as 34-year-old Johnny Summers of Rochester.

His death is the latest example of violence cascading across the 19th Ward. It's a community that is tough to judge because of the all the negative stories surrounding its name.

"Growing up here, seeing how things have changed in the past week, two-three homicides, all in the same neighborhood, it's sad," said Allen Simpson.

In late April on Genesee Street, Ronald Stern was shot and later died. Two months before, three people were shot to death, also on Chili Avenue.

"Right across the street from my niece's school," Simpson added. "It was a big deal. They were calling parents, letting them know everything is alright."

Those working and living in the 19th Ward feel their neighborhood is a good one.

"It's a nice neighborhood," said Jim Wright, who does maintenance work at a local church. "You see we try to keep up the church and everything up here; there's a lot of good businesses up here. I hope they get the crime under control."

"The cops, the community can't solve these more persistent problems," said Dr. Dan DeMarle, moderator of the 19th Ward Crime Alert Page.

DeMarle said he believes more help is needed from the county and state to stamp out the problems that lead to violence in his beloved neighborhood.

"We can't solve poverty, we can't solve the drug problem, we can't solve the problems of the City School District," DeMarle added.

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Washington Times