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Waterloo Holiday Shooting

WATERLOO, IA (CBS2/FOX28) Over the July 4th weekend, the sounds of fireworks were sprinkled with gunshots in Waterloo.

That shooting was just the most recent in whats been a handful of shootings in the area since the summer started.

People in the area say hearing shots is nothing new, but this summer, they admit that if they called the police every time they heard gunfire, officers would be around almost 24/7.

There isnt much that can rattle Mark Spaulding. Not racing cars, not the sound of gunfire.

"I don't think there's any more violence in this neighborhood than in the rest of Waterloo, it's just that it's been highlighted and been concentrated in this little area for a while, said Spaulding.

Shots were fired at the end of May and then again at the start of July. On the fourth, before fireworks lit up the sky, gunfire echoed through the streets.

"A lot of the elderly have gone to retirement homes or have moved on and there's a lot more rentals, said Spaulding. You know, you don't really know your neighbors."

Darby Harn lives on the other side of the road. He says five years ago, the gunfire nearly came to his doorstep.

"There was a shooting here at this house at 120 and some of the bullets kind of went flying and kind of hit the house here and that was the reason my brother ultimately left, said Harn.

He says hearing shots has been a constant in the roughly 20 years hes lived in the neighborhood.

"It comes and goes I think in waves, said Harn. This year is particularly bad."

Harn says economic hardship in the area is the root of the problem.

"People aren't robbing banks or robbing liquor stores if they have a job, if they feel comfortable in their life, said Harn.

He says when there are a few shootings, thats when everyone talks about coming together to stop them. But those conversations stop when the gunfire does, and Mark says nothing ever changes.

"It's like when you live next to a train you get used to it you know? Unfortunately you don't pay attention to it when you hear the sirens, you just go about your business, said Spaulding.

On Monday night, something could change for the first time in about two years. The Waterloo City Council will take up reinstating a neighborhood watch program that would allow a volunteer to ride around the neighborhood and report criminal activity.
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