Edgewater residents discuss preventing future crimes in aftermath of Hancock Street shooting

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Edgewater residents meet in the aftermath of a 1900 block of Hancock Street shooting.

Last week, Rockford Police were called around 12:20 a.m. on Tuesday for reports of multiple shots fired.

Investigators say they found two occupied residences with multiple bullet holes, and an 11 year old girl inside one of the residences suffering from a single gunshot wound to the chest.

“I have dear friends that live right across the street from it,” said Edgewater resident Tom O’Brien. “Obviously, I was really concerned about what happened.”

The shooting is the latest example of violent crime in the neighborhood. Last month, there were two home invasions on Melrose Street.

Rockford Police Assistant Deputy Chief Andre Brass says more officers are patrolling the area.

“We let people know, we’re here. Our investigation is ongoing,” said Brass. “We’ve made some links with some other crimes and we’re putting some things together. Detectives are working hard to get those suspects in custody.”

The Edgewater Neighborhood Association encourages residents to get to know each other, share information and remain vigilant.

“There is criminal activity that goes on often times at these residences before a shooting occurs,” said O’Brien. “There are things we can do as neighbors to really band together.”

“I know it’s hard for people to call, they don’t want to bother the police,” said Brass. “They don’t want to be ‘that’ neighbor that’s nosy or the one that everyone has a reputation with, but in order to keep your neighborhood safe and to get things done, you need to call the police.”

O’Brien has lived in the neighborhood for seven years, he says he has experienced violent crime in other Rockford neighborhoods he’s lived in before and adds being scared isn’t the answer.

“To retreat themselves into their homes and lock themselves away and be fearful of everything. I think that’s definitely not the avenue we need to take. We need to use this as an opportunity to strengthen our relationships with each other.”

Rockford Police say the 11 year old continues to recover but will be okay.

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