MERIDEN, Conn. (WTNH) — At least nine shootings incidents have occurred in Meriden since Monday. One victim’s family and friends spoke out Thursday in an effort to stop the violence.
Gunfire in several neighborhoods. Bullets hitting homes. Unrest in Meriden.
“It’s really bad,” one resident told News 8 Thursday.
“It’s getting out of control,” said another.
“I don’t want to have to worry about at night, hanging out,” said another Meriden resident. “And, God forbid, something terrible happening to us or our neighbors.”
Something terrible did happen Wednesday night near the corner of Olive and Crown Streets. A 24-year-old man, Sammy Ortiz, was run over, shot several times. He was killed.
Thursday, a memorial for him filled with candles and flowers continues to grow on the sidewalk near where it happened. That’s where News 8 spoke with his family and friends.
“I just want to let everybody know he isn’t just a statistic,” his cousin told News 8. “He was loved by all his family.”
“It’s devastating to get a phone call that someone you know or seen growing up gets murdered,” said one of Sammy’s friends.
People who live in neighborhoods where the other shootings have occurred were afraid to speak on camera. Thursday afternoon, Meriden police announced an arrest in one of those shootings — one that occurred on Cooper Street and South Colony Road.
“It’s a step in the right direction,” said Meriden Mayor Kevin Scarpati. “Lots of work still to do.”
Sammy Ortiz’s family asks that people keep him in their prayers and that the violence in Meriden stops soon.
“We’re better than this,” his cousin added.
Sunday, Meriden Police reported a ninth shooting in the city since Monday; a man was shot in the leg Saturday night in the area of Hobart and Myrtle Streets. Police say the man shot is back home recovering.
Police ask anyone with any information about any of the shootings in the city to call the MAJOR CRIMES TIP LINE at 203-630-6253.