domestic violence news: Three homicides in two days: Pols call for end to gun violence in front of symbolic empty casket

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STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — About 48 hours after three men were gunned down in the streets of Staten Island, Assemblyman Charles Fall (D-North Shore) stood in front of another casket Wednesday afternoon to send a clear message: Gun violence must stop.

“As a resident that lives in this neighborhood, as a representative in the Assembly and as a dad of two, I am sick and tired of the gun violence that we have been seeing in the last few days and throughout this entire year, right here in our district and throughout the city,” said Fall. The assemblyman spoke as he stood beside an empty casket at the site where Prince Edmonds, 21, was shot and killed Monday afternoon at the corner of Richmond Terrace and Lockman Avenue.

In a timeframe of exactly 28 hours since Edmonds died, two other men lost their lives after being shot in the streets of the North Shore.

Sean Dallas, 29, of Brooklyn, was shot in front of his two children on Tuesday morning in what is believed to be a road rage incident, sources told the Advance/

Cedrick Black, 34, was attending Edmonds’ memorial on Jersey Street when a gunman came up to the memorial and shot Black in the torso before fleeing the scene north on Jersey Street in a black sedan, sources said.

No arrests have been made in connection with the three homicides.

Staten Island has recorded a total of 13 homicides so far this year, already matching last year’s data.

“This is a problem of deep concern, and the safety and security of our entire community must be priority,” said Fall. “We have mourned the loss of too many sons and daughters, childhood friends, husbands, wives and coworkers. Our families are tired of laying loved ones to rest before their time.”


Multiple elected officials joined Fall and called for unity throughout the community, including representatives from the mayor’s office, Rep. Max Rose’s office and the district attorney’s office.

“The only way that we could stop this is if we all band together and make sure that we are one in our message that we are here, we are all Staten Islanders, and this violence needs to stop,” Assemblyman Michael Cusick (D-Mid-Island) said.

Rev. Dr. Tony Baker, the pastor of St. Philip’s Baptist Church in Port Richmond, expressed, once again, his stand against gun violence in the borough after participating in ‘seven days of good trouble’ — a seven-day march event Councilwoman Debi Rose (D-North Shore) organized in August through the seven neighborhoods highly affected by gun violence during the summer.

“For whatever reason, I guess we thought that that was it,” Baker said. “We had overcome that moment. And now we are going to unite. I need our community to know that nobody is destroying us, but us. There are many problems we need to be challenged with, but we’re pulling the trigger.

“We need resources in this community. And let’s galvanize ourselves together and ask those who have the resources to pour back into this community. But stop killing one another. Racism isn’t killing us. We’re doing it ourselves.”


Shawn Stradford, the owner of Stradford Home for Funerals, urged Staten Islanders to “say something” and be “out there” for their community.

“I hate being here,” Stradford said. “I hate doing this. I hate coming out and seeing another young man laid in a casket. It is the most difficult thing. Some of you might never, ever know what is like to have to explain to a mother why her child is laying in a casket, to a father who is grieving and screaming in your ears . . . and you don’t know what to say because sometimes saying ‘sorry for your loss’ is just not enough.”

Fall echoed Stradford’s sentiments, urging those who have illegal firearms to turn them in at a cash for guns event that will take place at The Central Family Life Center, 59 Wright Street, on Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“If you don’t say something, the perpetrator is going to continue to be out there and more people will continue to get hurt, and we don’t want that,” said Fall. To those with illegal firearms, he urged: “Please do the right thing. We don’t want to see you in a casket or in these handcuffs.”


Assemblyman Charles Fall and other local officials and clergy address the current string of violent shootings on the North Shore at the Fellowship Baptist Church, Mariners Harbor. (Staten Island Advance/ Jan Somma-Hammel

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