Bacon said her office is collaborating with officials from the FBI and police in Albany, Schenectady and Troy to call on faith based groups and community members to help address these issues.
“You’re looking at probably somewhere around 170 victims of gun violence in Albany, Schenectady and Troy since the beginning of the year,” FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Peter Magnetto said. “There have been about 130 shooting incidents and about 330 confirmed shots fired.”
Magnetto said this year in Albany, Schenectady and Troy the number of homicides, shooting incidents and victims are up between 150 and 200 percent in comparison to last year.
Officials hope to prevent more violence by bolstering programs that have been proven to help break the cycle of recidivism in people who are convicted of gun crimes and prevent gun violence altogether.
“Some of our most violent shooters right now or actually children,” Bacon said. “It’s children shooting children which creates a very special and unique challenge as the perpetrators aren’t necessarily in their 20s.”
Bacon said they’ve seen an increase in gangs using children or teenagers to perpetrate violence because leaders know younger people are harder to prosecute; especially in states like New York, where there are laws that raise the age at which someone can be legally prosecuted as an adult.
Albany Police Chief Eric Hawkins said gang involvement isn’t the only thing contributing to gun violence.
“Sometimes it is the Uptown/Downtown deal, sometimes it’s between cities, sometimes it’s simply because they had some sort of beef or dispute over social media,” Hawkins said. “So we’re just getting a whole different—different sources of some of these conflicts.”
Though not every case will be prosecuted federally, Bacon said they would go after the ones that do qualify.
“We will not decline in case in this district because of workload,” she said.
Stay tuned to NewsChannel 13 for updates on this story.