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‘Enough is enough’: Community leaders call for change after shooting leaves 17-year-old dead

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Just two days after a drive-by shooting left a 17-year-old dead on Madison's Lathrop Street, students and families started moving in nearby, many unsettled by the news.

"It's not just college students around here, so you especially hate to hear something like that happening," Neighbor Adam Panten said. "There could be families or kids and stuff like that. But ya never know if we moved in a day early we could have been right in the middle of that."

Panten and some of his friends in college moved into their new apartment on Sunday. The shooting happened just feet away from their door.

Alexis Miller was moving into her new apartment on Monday, right where the shooting happened.

"The shooting does make me a little nervous," Miller said. "But it happens all around. You always hear about it around Madison, whether it's in your area or a few blocks away."

Miller said gun violence in the city is something she's gotten used to.

According to Madison police, gun-related incidents have been on the rise. In 2020, there were 250 shots fired incidents, up more than 73% from the year before.

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This year, there have already been 126 shots fired incidents in the city.

Mayor Satya-Rhodes Conway put out a statement on Monday, calling for action related to the latest incidents of gun violence in the city. Other leaders followed suit.

"It's not 'do we think this is a problem,' it is a problem happening in our community and throughout the United States," said Anthony Cooper, President and CEO of Focused Interruption, a gun violence prevention group in Dane County.

Cooper and others work with victims of gun violence and use individualized programming to focus on the small groups most likely to pull the trigger.

"We are constantly working on new and improved strategies to uplift and be able to work with families in critical incidents such as what happened this past weekend," Cooper said.

Cooper says his organization and others are working together to stop gun violence in Dane County, but they need help from local government officials and law enforcement.

"It is not our child directly but at the same time this is a child that has lost his life to senseless gun violence," Cooper said. "Enough is enough."

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