A new week in Grier Heights is bringing new concerns after a third serious shooting in 13 days.
Neighborhood leader Ken Funderburke said he'd been optimistic about progress there until the Saturday night murder of Nakio Cousart.
“We saw a big reduction in crime,” Funderburke said. “(To have this happen) was devastating to all of us.”
For decades, Grier Heights has fought hard against the perception that it is a neighborhood filled with crime and violence. There have been various efforts to cut crime, add resources for residents and move troublemakers out.
But even the staunchest supporters of this neighborhood admit they're shaken by the recent shootings there. One of them is City Councilwoman Patsy Kinsey.
“I don’t know what else we can do,” she said. “It's just -- it's frustrating, because it's a great neighborhood.”
Police, who built a new division office in Grier Heights, said crime dropped by a third last year. They've added extra patrols and undercover resources since the shootings.
“At this time, this is our focus -- the Grier Heights community,” Capt. Martha Dozier said.
At the neighborhood community center, Don Gately said he hopes the shootings won't overshadow the good happening there.
“We've torn down 23 blighted, crime-infested duplexes,” he said. “On those lots, we're going to build 35 new homes.”
But Funderburke admitted many there wonder what it will take to erase new fear created by the crimes of a few.
“You have some people that are just bound to do their thing,” he said. “Even if it's killing people.”