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Upstate NY City Plagued By Summer Of Gunfire

Composite Image by Dave Lucas

A small area of a Columbia County city has become a big concern for local residents.

Hudson and its 6,400 residents have been booming in recent years, as the culture mecca attracts new year-round residents. But like many upstate cities, it has also grappled with incidents of gun violence—which have ramped up over the warmer months, including an August homicide.

Hudson city Police Chief Edward Moore:   "Yeah, we've had seven individual shootings. We had one death. We've had two juveniles, 2- and 3-year-olds shot through the knee. Fortunately they're fine. We had a woman shot in the shoulder. We had recently a young man shot through the groin, in serious condition. And then the night before last, I believe, or day before that we had a self-inflicted gunshot wound, so and we've had shooting incidents where folks have shot at each other and not hitting anyone, so this is all happening starting around May 1st of this year and culminated into our homicide that we had a week ago."

Moore hesitates to use the word "gang," although he believes there is a gang element involving "deep-seeded hatred that has been going on for years." The violence-prone area occupies a small slice of city real estate.

Amanda Purcell has been covering the shootings for the Hudson Register-Star.   "A couple of streets away is Warren Street which is a very popular tourist destination. There are a lot of antique stores and hotels and then just a block over Columbia Street and then State Street, so it's a small area, a concentrated area that the police have been looking at for a while, but, you know, there are definitely families that live in the area."

Credit Google Maps

Alison Murphy says frustrated residents in the neighborhood are on edge and would welcome surveillance cameras.   "Our little section of North 5th Street, a really tiny little block, just seems to be one of a few anomalies in Hudson, where there is a lot of activity going on, and, for some reason the police aren't able to get a handle on it. And we've been complaining for years. I've been in my house since 2006 and neighbors have been requesting cameras since that time. I also requested cameras and was told that they were being installed the summer of 2016. And instead of things getting better, this summer has just been really out of control."

The mayor's office has not responded to requests for comment from WAMC. Murphy adds that the two warring factions are each headed by siblings and the battle focuses on ownership of a particular house that has been in their family. A meeting between police and residents is scheduled for September 25th.

Chief Moore says tourists interested in checking out Hudson should not be deterred.   "Either you can believe me or your lying eyes. It's hard to convince people that we're safe and a great place to visit when you have these kind of things in the paper. The only thing I can say is it's a vibrant city with a lot of great things going on. These instances have been targeted against two rival groups. We've been fortunate so far that someone not affiliated with the groups has not been injured."

Moore says the city is bustling with activity on the weekends and he encourages visitors to stop by.

Credit HudsonValley360.com

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