PHOENIX - Mel Nicholson has lived in his Maryvale home 45 years. The Vietnam veteran has seen a lot of changes in that time.
"There were only three houses in the whole area,” he said.
With progress, however, often comes problems and trouble. The neighborhood his home is in has seen its fair share of crime. Two weeks ago, that violence found his front porch.
“This is where one of the bullets hit my house,” he said pointing to the damage. His home and car were hit three times.
The target of the bullets was a 19-year-old man who was killed while sitting in his car. Police say the shooting was random and have connected it to three other shootings.
“We have dozens of officers out on patrol tonight,” Phoenix Police Sgt. Jonathan Howard said.
So far, six people have been shot and, of them, five were killed by the shooter or shooters.
The youngest victim is a 12-year-old girl. All of the shootings happened when the victims were in front of their home or the home of someone they knew. The shootings were also all in the evening or the overnight hours. Police say they have no good suspect information and no solid description of a vehicle used in the shootings.
Nicholson said it won’t stop him from going about his daily routine but added it’s tough right now. “It’s some bad feelings go on around here,” he said.
Along with extra patrol officers on the streets, neighbors can also expect to see a group of Guardian Angels. The group plans to patrol the neighborhood on Friday night in hopes of reassuring neighbors.
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“I truly believe we can do a little thing and help figure out what is going on with these incidents,” said Zippie, who did not want to give his real name.
Police are telling residents to feel safe when going about their daily routine but to be extra cautious and diligent when out at night.
“Look around when you’re outside and call us if you see something suspicious,” said Sgt. Howard.
An $11,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to an arrest.