PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Legislators and community leaders are scheduled to meet on Monday morning following the recent increase in violence in and around Providence.
“The focus is on gun legislation.”
In an effort to enhance public safety, legislators are seeking to deliver federal resources. The goal is to prevent gun violence, expand access to mentoring programs, and bring community leaders together to make neighborhoods safer.
Nonviolence Institute Exec. Dir. Cedric Huntley told 12 News, his group is devastated by the recent shootings. While they help affected families, Huntley said gun restricting bills need to be passed.
“Less guns accessible to individuals on the street that probably shouldn’t have them. We fight against violence every single day,” he said.
Providence has had eight shooting deaths this year, including three shootings over the past four days.
On Thursday, nine people were injured in the largest shooting in Providence’s history, according to Providence Police Chief Hugh Clements.
Friday night, a 25-year-old man was found shot to death inside a vehicle on Pope Street in Providence.
Two people were shot on Camp Street in Providence Saturday afternoon and just over the border in Pawtucket, a 20-year-old man was shot and killed on Randall Street.
Providence Police previously told 12 News, they have seized twice as many illegal firearms this year compared to recent years.
Black Lives Matter RIPAC said the violence stems from people looking for quick solutions when the answer is fixing systemic issues.
“A lot of the problems going on in our community are due to the lack of mental health resources, a lack of shelter, food, these are issues of poverty. Our communities need resources,” Black Lives Matter RIPAC Executive Director Harrison Tuttle said.
Police said there is no update or arrests on any of these investigations and added they don’t believe the three shootings are connected. Officials added they are looking into a connection with Saturday’s homicide in Pawtucket.