NEWS July 19th, 2012

By Shawn Star

Community spooked by latest murder

Lawrence Heights residents feel helpless as their suggestions to make neighbourhood safer often ignored

As many as 20 evidence markers lie on the basketball court and playground of Flemington Public School in Lawrence Heights.

Those markers, along with the heavy police presence, are what remains of today’s early morning murder, the city’s 30th of the year.

Directly across the street from the scene is a telephone pole with “Stop the violence” painted on it.

“It’s a long time since they put this thing up,” said Dreen Samuels, a resident sitting outside of her building.

She feels helpless as a resident because nothing seems to be done to end the violence, she says.

“We have no voice in it, there’s nothing we can do when nobody’s listening,” she said.

“The voice you have is to go to community meetings and suggest things, but when you suggest things there’s nothing done toward it. You see?” Samuels pointed across the street. “I’m frustrated, of course. Kids run around here, the elders are around here.”

The killing occurred around 1:05 a.m., as police responded to a call for the sound of gunshots. On the basketball court, they found 27-year-old Daniel Davis dead from gunshot wounds.

A resident who identified himself as Hussein, said he has six children, three of whom attend Flemington Public School. He says it’s not a good thing when violence affects the community, but that people need to remember the violence isn’t isolated.

“It’s a nice community … but it could happen anywhere,” Hussein said. “But it’s shocking when you see it happen close to you, especially near a school.”

A teacher at Flemington Public School who wouldn’t give her name said she’s shocked and heartbroken the latest murder occurred in the schoolyard.

“It’s a tight community, the children are lovely, they’re great to teach, we have great staff,” she said. “It affects all of us when something like this happens, that’s for sure.”

Samuels questions what government is doing to prevent similar crimes from occurring.

“There’s nothing we can do, we’re just locals,” she said. “The government is supposed to do something. This is government housing, they’re supposed to look after us.”

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