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Tallahassee leaders gather to combat spike in violent crime

Posted at 12:40 PM, Sep 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-19 12:45:11-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — A rash of violence plaguing the Capital City brought Tallahassee leaders together Wednesday with a single goal: keeping our community safe.

"Two weekends ago now four of our kids were impacted by gun violence," said Leon County Schools Superintendent Rocky Hanna.

An increase in violent crime in the Capital City has Tallahassee City leaders coming together to address the safety of our communities. This discussion comes after the Dyke Industries stabbings, two fatal shootings of teenagers and a Leon County standoff Wednesday morning.

TPD Major Laurson says in the past two and a half months, 53 guns have been stolen in car burglaries around the city.

The Leon County Sheriff's office says from January to August, they've logged 322 car break-ins. During those some of those break ins, 49 guns were stolen.

Of those break-ins, 88 of those involved unlocked cars. Mayor John Dailey is now asking legal gun owners to be more responsible.

"If you are a law abiding citizen that owns a firearm please take your firearm out of your car and into your home at night," said Dailey. "When 53 guns are stolen out of either locked or unlocked cars overnight because people left their firearms in the car. I think we can step up as a community and be more responsible."

TPD says there's a trend of juveniles committing auto burglaries, which is where some are getting their weapons.

"Irresponsible gun ownership is unacceptable and how these 15 and 16 year olds are getting hands on these weapons is very concerning," Hanna asserted.

After hours of discussion, city leaders agreed to return to the table armed with solutions for a safer Tallahassee.

"We all have a role to play we're not going to just police ourselves out of this situation and everybody needs to step up to the plate for the sake of our community," Dailey said.

A follow up meeting has not been set but Tallahassee leaders are determined to make the city as safe as possible. Mayor Dailey also says he's considering a PSA on gun safety.