Harrisburg officials address recent spike in gun violence


HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Harrisburg has experienced a violent past week, with at least four shootings taking place across the city.

Gerald Rhoades, an advocate with Heeding God’s Call to End Gun Violence, addressed this recent spike in shootings in the capital, saying, “For our population, our violence is quite high.”

In an effort to make students feel calmer after two of those shootings happened near their school, lawmakers, residents and city leaders arrived Friday morning at The Nativity School to greet students as they walked into the building.

State Rep. Patty Kim (D-Dauphin) understands the palpable fear the young students carry.

“We’re so sorry for what happened, we want to be there. I want you to feel protected and cared for,” Kim said.

The school is located in the Camp Curtain YMCA on North Sixth Street, right where two men were injured in a shooting Tuesday morning. No students were injured or in danger, police said at the time.

Another shooting happened in that same area two days later on Woodbine Street. One man was injured there.

Two days later, on Thursday, a shooting victim was found behind the National Civil War Museum, reportedly shot in the forehead.

“It’s frustrating that people continually need to use guns to solve or settle their differences,” Rhoades says.

Rhoades believes the community needs to have programs where people can develop their interpersonal skills and handle their disagreements civilly.

He is also advocating for stronger commonsense gun legislation.

“The community needs to step up. We need to watch our kids, other people’s kids,” Kim said. “Instead of sitting back when we see bad things happening, how can we help, what can we do, react quickly and run toward the pain.”

In addition to the three shootings detailed above, there was another deadly shooting last Friday, August 30, in the 1800 block of State Street.

Kyler Waiwada, 18, was killed.

Police haven’t said if any suspects have been identified in either homicide case.

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