"A Very Bad Day" As Two Die In Albany Shootings
Albany Police say two men were killed and several others injured in two separate shootings in the city Friday.
The first shooting took place around 2:30 p.m. near the intersection of First and Quail Streets. Police found a 35-year-old man with a gunshot wound to his back. He was later pronounced dead at a hospital. Police Chief Eric Hawkins said the man was an unintended victim of a drive-by shooting. Shortly after, five other men all in their 20s showed up at three area hospitals with gunshot wounds, according to Hawkins.
Around 6:30 p.m. another shooting was reported near Henry Johnson Boulevard and Central Ave. A 39-year-old man died after being shot in torso.
"It’s been a very bad day for the city of Albany," Hawkins said during a press conference Friday night.
Hawkins said the shootings are not related. No arrests had been made as of Friday night.
The chief said the incidents involve young men who are not resolving conflicts in peaceful ways and who do not value human life.
"They don't care," Hawkins said. "These people are not reflective of the city of Albany. It's a small percentage of the people in this community who are responsible for a large percentage of the violence."
"The proliferation of guns and the fact that people are arming themselves and then behaving in ways that ends in the loss of life, has to stop," Mayor Kathy Sheehan said at the press conference.
"If you know anything, please call the police department and share whatever information you have so we can bring these individuals to justice," Hawkins said.
Independent mayoral candidate Greg Aidala’s family owns a car shop on Quail Street. He tells WAMC he heard the gunshots from the early afternoon shooting.
"My window was open. I heard multiple gunshots go off. I had run out. We had dropped our doors because we knew it was a drive-by and we wanted to stay protected ourselves and we saw a car drive off," Aidala told WAMC. "It was just so fast how it happened. I was one of the first on the scene...I was trying to keep [a victim] alive with CPR and keep him comfortable until the professionals got here and the medics. There's bullet casings all over."
UPDATE: Aidala later clarified to WAMC News that while he was on the scene of the shooting and called 911 Friday, he himself did not perform CPR on the victim. He says a retired EMT did so while awaiting first responders.
Victory Church is offering a $5,000 reward for information on the shootings. The church says bullets from the first shooting went into the JC Club on First Street.
One resident who identified herself as Juicy Boulevard said neighbors want the police to step up patrols of the area.
"This is my community and I love it. I have six kids myself, and I live right there on 2nd and Quail, right around the corner, I can't even get to my house right now," she said. "The police need to really be on their job. The mayor need to be on her job, [Albany County District Attorney] David Soares need to be on his job, and they need to really start getting this thing together. We understand it's COVID. It's nothing to do. These kids don't have nothing to do. Y'all run around buying new police cars and new handcuffs and y'all ain't got nothing for these kids to do? And wonder about all these shootings taking place with these young kids?"
I spoke with two witnesses on the Central side of the police tape who said they heard the shots today from inside. "I thought it was firecrackers," one said.— Ian Pickus (@IanPickus) May 21, 2021