A recent firebombing and drive-by shooting in St. John's involving rival drug dealers has upset politicians and neighbours alike.

Premier Kathy Dunderdale said Tuesday she's worried about the escalation of violence in the capital city.

"Extremely concerned about it," she said. "And we have been for some time."

The most recent example started with the firebombing of a house on Hamilton Avenue early Friday morning. Later the same night, a retaliatory drive-by shooting targeted the wrong house on Dauntless Street, in a new subdivision.

Police are also investigating links to mainland biker gangs, particularly the Hells Angels.

Dunderdale said it shows why the provincial government has poured so much money into policing. Recently, $1 million was earmarked for a joint RNC-RCMP drug team during the toughest budget in a decade.

The premier said if the recent spike in violence proves too severe, police can expect more help from the province.

"If they feel there are deficiencies in what they need, then I am sure we are going to hear from them," she said. "And I can assure them and assure the people of the province that they will find a receptive audience."

RNC Chief Robert Johnston said Dunderdale's words are reassuring.


Police Chief Robert Johnston said he was glad to hear of the premier's support. (CBC)

"As we go forward, we are going to deal with those issues, and if we need more resources or more specific pieces of equipment or technology, we will ask for it," he said.

"I'm glad to hear that the premier is supportive, and they have been very supportive of policing in the province."

Neighbours nervous

Meanwhile, Seamus Heffernan said he considers himself lucky.

He lives in a house adjacent to the home on Hamilton Avenue that was firebombed around 3:30 a.m. last Friday.

"I was asleep and was woken by the firefighters coming into my house," Heffernan said.

Outside, he saw his neighbour's house, Mercedes Benz car and Harley Davidson motorcycle in flames.

The house on the opposite side was also damaged by the blaze.


City councillor Danny Breen said even before these incidents, residents have been calling to report suspicious behaviour in their neighbourhoods. (CBC )

"I was told afterward that it was very fortunate in terms of the way the wind was going, that if it had been going the other way, then it would have been my house that sparked up. And because it's attached, [it]

could have been a much different, much different story," he said.

City councillor Danny Breen said people are worried.

"This is something that's happened that's really not something that's – I don't know if it's happened here before. So it certainly opens your eyes," he said.

Breen said even before the recent incidents, residents have been getting in touch with him to report suspicious behaviour in their neighbourhoods.

He's encouraging the public to continue to make those calls to him and the police.

Breen also said council members will soon meet with the RNC to get more information about the incidents.