Residents live in fear as guns, drug violence rise
Uniontown City Council and its police chief agreed this week to meet with the city's East End residents in an effort to resolve issues with gun violence, bombings and drug activity, especially in the Pershing Court area.
Approximately 30 members of the East End community told Mayor Ed Fike and city council members they fear for their own safety and the safety of their families because of recent shootings, explosions and other violent activity.
The Rev. Gary Yarbrough, pastor of Interfaith Assembly for Christ Church in the East End community, told council he was representing nine black churches of the East End Ministerial Alliance.
Yarbrough told council he has the support of about 500 residents who signed petitions aimed to “stop the violence in the East End community.”
Residents are concerned about “shootings that are taking place day and night in the Pershing Court housing complex and surrounding area.”
Yarbrough said bullets have been flying through windows, walls and doors of the homes of innocent victims.
“Bombs and/or explosives were found recently in Pershing Court,” he added. “This is not Afghanistan. Residents in the community are in fear of their lives. They are afraid to walk down the street, sit on their porches or just go to bed for fear of being shot by a stray bullet.”
Yarbrough said residents are moving out of the community because of fear.
“Some are even afraid to stay in their homes,” he added. “Just recently, one family had to stay with their pastor and his family for a few days. Again, others can't sleep because they are afraid a stray bullet may come through the walls, and they may never wake up.”
Yarbrough said the Concerned Citizens of the East End have had meetings with the management of Pershing Court with no results.
“The police show up and they drive around, but they are on most occasions too late or they initiate no readily ascertainable steps to quell the disturbance or end the criminal activity,” Yarbrough said.
Fike and police Chief Jason Cox assured the residents that the city is prepared to take whatever action is necessary to restore safety to the East End.
“I would be glad to meet with you to discuss these issues,” Cox said. “The police are trying to do everything that we can, but we are open to guidance and suggestions. I will sit down with you, and we can go over your concerns point by point.”
Since funding for the city's Weed & Seed program ran out, Cox said city police, the Fayette County Drug Task Force and state police have continued to patrol and saturate the area whenever possible in an effort to crack down on crime, drug activity and violence.
“The activity has been ongoing,” Yarbrough said. “It is a shame that when a 2-year-old child hears gunshots, they know to dive for the floor. When young children get off the school bus, they are afraid of being shot and have to look around to make sure nothing is going on before they head toward their homes.”
Cindy Ekas is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Fire destroys unoccupied Fayette home
- Eagle Scout’s project at Connellsville cemetery unearths family history
- Defense: Fayette County baby sitter’s abuse case a cover-up
- Nurse who dropped baby at Uniontown Hospital won’t lose job
- Upper Tyrone Township Sewage Authority seeks $1.8 million for plant project
- Connellsville kicks off farmers market
- Fayette County man injured in WV fireworks mishap
- Connellsville pavilion, horseshoes to preserve woman’s memory
- Geibel Catholic acting, music camp enters 4th year
- Historical society aims to preserve Connellsville connections to conflicts
- Post-war ‘welcome’ still stings Vietnam War veteran from Connellsville