Daytime gun fight in Hamilton caught on dashcam video: Police
Police release video of shooting as community and political reaction intensifies
Residents in what is known as one of Hamilton's roughest lower-city wards will hold an anti-violence rally next week after three incidents of gun violence and assault rocked the area.
On Sunday, two men shot at each other in broad daylight at Main Street East and East Avenue Ward 3. There was a shooting hours later at King and Ashley streets, and days earlier, an assault victim found at Stinson Street and Victoria Avenue South died.
Late Wednesday, police released a dashcam video taken by a citizen driving past the scene just as the shots rang out. Two shots are clearly audible and one suspect is seen running away in front of the car camera.
People are tired of these incidents, said Coun. Matthew Green. He's organizing a rally for next Thursday with a dual purpose — to stand up against violence, and to show pride in an area trying to turn a new leaf.
"We're not going to be stigmatized by this stuff," he said.
"These crimes were perpetrated by a few lawless individuals. We're going to show people we're not afraid to live in our neighbourhoods."
Last week's incidents were tough blows to an area trying to shed its negative image. While often referred to in conversations about crime and poverty, Ward 3 is enjoying surging housing prices, and governments are investing millions in the Pan Am precinct. This includes a new high school, recreation centre and stadium.
Then on June 20, volunteers with hold the first Barton Village Festival at Woodlands Park. The event is designed to show pride in the street.
But there are dark spots, including crack houses and drug dealers, Green said. "Everyone knows where they are," he said, and it has to be addressed.
"We have to deal with what happens in our communities," he said. "We can't candy coat it."
The rally, Green said, will likely be called "Proud to be Ward 3." He hopes to see it evolve into a social media campaign.
Mayor Fred Eisenberger also denounced the shootings, calling them "a step in the absolute wrong direction" for Hamilton.
He also asked staff to bring back a report on how the city could ban guns.