Spike in violent crime has Hartford on edge

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HARTFORD - It has been a busy week for Reverend Henry Brown, a community activist working to fight gun violence imn Hartford, with a string of three homicides in the past week in the capital city.

"I am just frustrated but I have to keep pushing because the community relies so much on me," he said Sunday in an interview in the Fox 61 studios in downtown Hartford.

The recent spike in violence comes after relative calm without a single homicide reported in November.

Brown says the uptick came when the conversation waned.

"We stopped talking about it," he said. "When we were talking about the violence during the primaries, during the election part of the year, there was a sense of urgency."

In the last week, Hartford has seen homicides on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.

Wednesday's deadly shooting came just hours before a planned vigil to honor all the city's homicide victims, and police say the Saturday shooting on Griswold Street wasn't even on their radar.

"Most of the officers here had to check our maps as to where it was," said Hartford Police Department Deputy Chief Brian Foley. "I dont ever recall coming to a call on this street in my 21 years."

Brown said people all over the city are on edge.

"Walking out of your door, you dont know where the next bullet is coming from, where the next body is going to fall," he said. "I'm not surprised to hear anywhere that someone got shot in Hartford.

Brown is praying that this holiday season might help to deter crime, at least for the remainder of the year.

"It is the Christmas season," he said. "Let us show some tender love for one another. The violence must stop. Think about your family when you want put the gun to someone's head."