London police confirm incidents where guns are being discharged more common
With crime statistics, perception isn’t always reality. A small cluster of incidents, in a short time, can make it seem like there’s a larger problem.
But when it comes to gun use in London this year, that’s not the case.
“For 2021, certainly the numbers are trending higher than we’ve seen the past five years or so,” says London Police Service Det.-Sup. Paul Bastien.
He says that as of August, there had been 23 incidents where guns had been discharged and there have been three other incidents to this point in September.
“The fact is, the majority of the shootings that we investigate are not random. Many of them are targeted.”
The most recent shooting incident happened on Thurman Circle around 3 a.m. Saturday. A bullet sliced through a garage door of a home and slammed into a nearby wall.
Those close to the incident, who don’t want to be identified, say two post-secondary students were in the garage pumping up an air mattress at the time and were narrowly missed. They insist neither the house nor the students were targets.
One neighbour, who wished to remain anonymous, says it’s known there are people who carry guns in the area but other residents won’t say anything because they don’t want to put themselves at risk.
“You don’t stick your nose in. You just keep your nose down and hope it doesn’t happen to you.”
Two recent fatalities have highlighted the concerns over gun violence; the Sept. 10 shooting death of 30-year-old Lynda Marques in a north London neighbourhood and the killing of 18-year-old Josue Silva, who was attending a field party in south London at the end of July.
Bastien says it’s important for people to understand that gun violence is still very rare.
“The thought of a random gunman out there shooting up random neighbourhoods is certainly frightening. That’s not the case here.”
Still, Bastien says it’s important that whenever someone has information about another person unlawfully carrying a firearm, they let police know, to ensure other lives aren’t lost.
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