TROY – Residents have been concerned for more than a year about shooting incidents in the North Central and Lansingburgh neighborhoods and now mail carriers report feeling threatened by the groups, authorities said.
“There were shots fired and it seems bullets ricocheted near a mail woman earlier this month,” said Jim Gordon, chairman of the North Lansingburgh Neighborhood Watch and District 1 councilman.
According to police reports, on August 7 police responded to shots fired on 102nd Street near 6th Avenue around noon. Witnesses said a young male fired numerous shots into a group of three or four individuals standing on the street. They all then ran in different directions, and there were no apparent injuries, police said.
Investigators found spent .40 caliber shell casings, a bullet in a wall and bullet fragments at the site. There have been no arrests.
A week later and a block away a man was shot and injured around 9:50 p.m. on 6th Avenue just north of 101st street and a residence on Grace Court was hit by at least one bullet. Officers found a victim with a non-life-threatening gunshot wound, Capt. Daniel DeWolf said.
The unidentified victim was treated at Albany Medical Center Hospital. There have been no arrests.
Police say they commonly struggle to get cooperation from witnesses or victims to help them make arrests in the street shootings.
“It’s a problem and it seems to be some sort of gang thing and maybe drugs,” Gordon said. “It’s got people nervous.”
Spokesman Ray Williams confirmed the Postal Inspection Service has assigned escorts on a rotating basis after hearing concerns from carriers.
“We are out there due to ongoing problems in that neighborhood,” Williams said. “We have to protect the postal service employees and safeguard the mail.”
Williams refused to divulge the exact location of their routes for safety reasons.
DeWolf said the police department is aware of and cooperating with the federal guards and has beefed up patrols in the trouble spots in the neighborhoods.
The shootings can be traced back to last year when three incidents on September, 3, 5 and 16 rattled residents and led to community meetings with police.
Police said the shootings involved ongoing tensions between two loose-knit groups of youths who target each other.
In one incident gunfire hit the second-floor apartment at 151 Fifth Ave., where two elementary schoolage boys were sleeping.
The first-floor apartment at the same Fifth Avenue building was targeted on Sept. 3. Two days later, a man was shot near the intersection of Sixth Avenue and Swift Street.
Neighbors in the area have they suspect drug dealing contributed to the incidents. Residents said there was an unusual level of foot traffic in and out of one of the targeted houses.
“This is blatant,” one resident said. “You know what they’re doing.”