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Call To Action At Stop The Violence Vigil In Pittsfield

Dozens of people showed up for a Stop The Violence vigil in Pittsfield Friday afternoon near the site of a deadly July 4th shooting that injured several others.People gathered at The Christian Center, a block from the deadly shooting scene. The mayor, president of the local NAACP chapter and many others called on parents and community members to step up to address youth violence. One of the speakers was Jermaine Sistrunk who says the shooting injured his daughter.

“I’m an individual that learned that we need to be proactive instead of reactive,” said Sistrunk.

Sistrunk says he thinks the shooting was the result of a personal problem. The shooting killed 25-year-old Ronald Pinel. A 20-year-old man remained at Baystate Medical Center as of Friday.

Since the shooting, Mayor Dan Bianchi has encouraged residents to be active in neighborhood watch groups, a message he reiterated at the vigil. He says police patrols have been increased on the West Side.

“We don’t have to be satisfied with the level of violence that we see,” Bianchi said.. “We shouldn’t be satisfied with it. And believe me we are working day and night to make sure that that doesn’t happen.”

The Berkshire District Attorney’s office has not released details of the investigation other than to say that it remains active.

Jim is WAMC’s Associate News Director and hosts WAMC's flagship news programs: Midday Magazine, Northeast Report and Northeast Report Late Edition. Email: jlevulis@wamc.org
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