After this weekend’s shooting at an out-of-control Springfield Gardens party took the life of a teen, City Councilman James Sanders (D-Laurelton) is calling on the city and community to get illegal guns off the streets to prevent future bloodshed.
Sanders blamed the easy access to weapons as the cause of the violence that he said has frightened the community. The councilman said the only solution was to get guns out of the neighborhood.
“This weekend we witnessed yet another senseless murder in our community due to the proliferation of illegal weapons on our streets,” he said in a statement issued Monday.
Sanders asked the Queens district attorney’s office to hold another gun buyback program in southeast Queens, similar to one that was done in the winter of 2009. That initiative, which involved churches from the community, collected more than 900 illegal weapons.
“We must use every option and avenue to help save the lives of our young people,” the councilman said.
The Queens DA’s office said it would like to hold another buyback.
“Last year’s gun buyback program was a tremendous success and we are working closely with the police department to see about duplicating that success,” DA spokeswoman Helen Marshall said.
Early Sunday morning, six people between the ages of 19 and 25 were shot outside a house on 182nd Street and 145th Drive following a block party, police said. The party was initially supposed to be a reunion for a group of junior high students, but it escalated into a massive block party that attracted outsiders, according to police.
Dane Freeman, 20, of Cambria Heights was killed by a bullet to the head while the remaining four victims were rushed to area hospitals in stable conditions from gunshot wounds to their bodies, police said. The shooting took place nearly a week after Kendrick Ali Morrow, 18, of Elmont, L.I., was killed outside a party near 147th Avenue and 176th Street.
Although investigators have put out sketches of the suspects wanted in both shootings, no arrests have been made in either incident and the investigations are ongoing.
“The death of 20 year-old Dane Freeman shows that if we don’t rid our streets of illegal weapons, we will continue to lose many more lives,” Sanders said.
Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at ipereira@c
©2010 Community News Group
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