Editor’s note: A previous version of this story erroneously reported two people died over the weekend. The article has been updated to reflect three victims of the violent weekend.
SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — The Savannah Police Department responded to multiple shootings this weekend, leaving three people dead.
City leaders describe the rise in gun violence over the last weeks as an epidemic and say more needs to be done to save lives.
“Our children are dying in these streets,” said District 1 Alderwoman Bernetta Lanier. “My son was a victim of gun violence in 2012, which will make 10 years this year. So to hear about that child that was killed and thinking about her mother and what she probably was experiencing on that day made it very difficult for me.”
Alderwoman Lanier’s district includes Yamacraw Village, where a 15-year-old girl was killed on Friday night. Police said officers got a call about a person injured during a fight around 9:50 p.m. When they got on scene, they discovered the girl had gunshot wounds, according to police.
“We do have an epidemic of gun violence and violent crime in this city,” Lanier said. “There’s a correlation between violent crime and disparity. There’s a correlation between violent crime and poverty. And what we need to do more of is seed the activities of our youth.”
Lanier said she’s heartbroken over the recent surge in crime, especially in high-traffic areas of the city. On Sunday, one person was killed and another injured in a shooting at Bull and Broughton Street.
To Lanier, the city’s future depends on the action she and other leaders take and thinks they need to change how they’re responding.
“We’ve tried the other approaches,” she said. “We cannot arrest our self out of this problem, we cannot change this by just a lot of rhetoric. We are going to have to invest in seeding positive programs and positive initiatives that’s going to take these youth and put them on a track for success.”