Spike in crime has South Dallas residents rallying community

A recent spike in violent crime in south Dallas has residents and police taking notice.

Within the past week, there have been three shootings, including one on Thursday night.

Dallas police didn’t have exact numbers, but did tell FOX4 that violent crime has crept up in south Dallas over the past year. Perhaps no one knows that better than the folks who live in the community, many of who are determined to bring about positive change.

Quentin McClellan loves the location of his store, but admits doing business in south Dallas has its challenges.

“The bars are here you know for safety ... security reasons,” said McClellan, co-owner, D&L Shaved Ice.

Customers at D&L Shaved Ice order their tasty treat through a small opening in the iron bars. McClellan says he personally feels safe, but admits a recent rise in violent crime in south Dallas -- including an officer involved shooting yesterday – can’t be ignored by the community.

Valerie Williams is fed up with the violence. The single mother of a special needs son says her breaking point was last Thursday, when a seven-year-old girl was caught in the crossfire of a drive by shooting while going to get a pizza with her dad.

The incident prompted a gathering on Tuesday -- bringing together Dallas police and community leaders.

“We must continue to work with our Dallas Police Department, but we also must work with our community,” said Carolyn Davis, former Dallas councilwoman. “When things are bad, when a bad seed is in our community like what happened last week we must call those things out."

With that goal in mind, Williams is meeting with her neighbors. Some, she says, do not get involved or overlook things out of fear for their safety.

“Speak out say something you see it you say it, you see it you say it. You don't hold onto it cause guess what it could happen to you and you would want someone to say something on your behalf,” Williams said.

Izaih Franklin is onboard. The father of five says he's had a gun pulled on him while watching his kids play at the park. He doesn't want that to ever happen again.

"I would love for us to actually be a neighborhood and not individuals on a street,” Franklin said.

The parents of seven-year-old Adriana Espinoza, the little girl who was shot in the chest, said they're glad something positive has come out of their nightmare. But they said the shooter is still out there and they're hoping someone with information will come forward.

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