LANSING, Mich. — Gun deaths have hit record levels in Lansing, and officials and community members say something needs to be done.
“Lansing doesn’t have a violence problem, it has a gun problem and I want to be very clear about that,” said interim Lansing Police Chief Ellery Sosebee
Gun violence has claimed the lives of 23 people in the city this year, and, during a press conference on Monday, officials said it’s time for a solution.
“Every night, when you lay your head down, whether you live in Lansing or outside it, you have no idea if your child, if your spouse, or if your grandparent is going to make it home that night, we are in a crisis,” said state Rep. Sarah Anthony.
So far, Mayor Andy Schor has started a gun violence task force and has committed to allocating over $200,000 to Advance Peace, a gun violence reduction initiative. .Schor said he’s also working closely with the Lansing Police Department to get illegal guns off the streets.
“We need to make sure that these dangerous guns are not falling into the wrong hands,” Schor said.
“In 2019, we seized 254; 2020, we seized 382; and now, in 2021, we have seized 575,” Sosebee said. “Do you see the trend here? That’s over 1200 illegal weapons in three years.
But Sosebee said there are still many illegal weapons floating around the city, some of which have made their way into the hands of teenagers.
Lansing police report that eight teens have lost their lives to gun violence this year, and a 10-week-old baby was sent to the hospital last week after being injured during a shooting.
“We all need to come together collectively and just help save our babies, because our babies are dying in these streets,” said Miranda Hinton, who lost her son to gun violence.
Elected officials said they’re depending on community members to help with the plague of gun violence.
Police said if you see something, say something. For residents like Tyrone Davis, it hits home. He lost a cousin to gun violence
"He was a young man, wasn’t doing nothing but trying to raise his kids and do the right thing and now his life is gone, for what? Nothing,” Davis said.
“I used to be in the streets, but I gave the streets up to get justice for my cousin and one of my friends,” Davis said. “I’m not gone stop until I get justice or they gone bury me trying, I want justice.”