Deadly violence on the rise in Jersey City

July 31, 2013 2:43:19 PM PDT
A 21-year-old man is the latest victim of deadly violence in Jersey City, where the murder rate has already reached last year's total.

Patrick Parrillo heard the shots.

"Pop, pop, pop, pop. Then it stopped. Then it was pop, pop, pop again. I heard like about ten," he said.

When Patrick looked out onto the sidewalk on Orient Avenue, he saw 21 year old Kareem Porter mortally wounded. His murder was the seventh in Jersey City since June 30.

"Yeah, there have been a lot of murders," he said.

One of the 13 murders this year was that of 12-year old Gywan Levine Jr., who was innocently playing basketball with his dad when he was killed. The shooting, which police say, occurred during a robbery, resulted in the arrest of two people. A third is being sought.

"I think we're going to turn the corner shortly, but any homicide is not comforting. I get that," Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said.

Mayor Fulop had just taken office a month ago when the most recent murders began. He's promising changes, hoping to curb the violence.

"We've just hired a new public safety director, a very senior person under Ray Kelly. His name is Jim Shay. We have a new class in the police department," he said.

Still, go into some neighborhoods like Greenville and you hear concern in the voices of residents.

"Try not to be on the streets," Martha said.

Martha and Jordan are most protective of their two children, telling me they only bring them out to a nearby playground earlier in the day.

"They are not to be outside and stuff like that because you try to stay out of the way of trouble," she said.

"Just mind your business, you know. Keep it moving. That's it," Jordan added.

"Residents need to see increased visibility and we're starting to do that," Mayor Fulop said.

Larry Taylors' relative was the last man killed.

"He was a good person. He was a good kid. You know, he was just coming up," Taylor said.