After double homicide, Fall River neighborhood hopes to put an end to gun violence

SE Mass

FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) ─ As the investigation continues into a double homicide that left a Fall River neighborhood reeling, Mayor Paul Coogan is focused primarily on preventing further violence in the city.

Coogan invited residents of the Corky Row neighborhood to a community meeting Monday where the group addressed public safety concerns and discussed ways to prevent gun violence.

“There is no place for violence and crime on any of our streets,” Coogan said.

This comes after Miguel Sanjurjo, 14, and Jovaughn Antonio Mills, 29, were gunned down near Griffin Park last week.

While those who attended the meeting admitted there is no easy solution to ending gun violence, many agreed it starts with supporting the city’s youth.

“We’re going to put some programs in Griffin Park over the summer,” Coogan said. “We may even be using this place as an art center to get some kids working on art projects.”

Bobby Bailey, Fall River Housing Authority’s minority outreach coordinator, grew up in the Spindle City. He plans to start a basketball league in July, which would prevent teens from turning to violence.

“These behaviors are learned behaviors of environments,” he said.

To keep the community at ease, Fall River Police Chief Jeffrey Cardoza said the department will be installing additional security cameras in and around Griffin Park. He said they’ll also increase patrols in the area.

Cardoza also reminded community members to contact them if they see anything suspicious.

“We need to have sustainability with the folks that live up here,” Cardoza said. “They need to be involved as well because they are our eyes and ears.”

The meeting concluded with several attendees agreeing to create a task force that will organize outreach programs for the children that live in the neighborhood.

Meanwhile, an 18-year-old Fall River man remains behind bars after he was arrested Friday at a Massachusetts hotel.

Jeremy Holmes faced a judge Monday afternoon and was ordered held without bail on charges connected to the deaths of Sanjurjo and Antonio Mills.

During his arraignment, prosecutors said they did not have enough evidence to charge Holmes with murder, however, he is facing a series of firearms charges.

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