Gun violence concerns in Waterloo Region after 19th shooting in 2019
On the heels of yet another shooting, there is growing concern over the rising number of incidents involving gun violence in Waterloo Region.
This comes as police are investigating a homicide in Kitchener, after a body was found early Tuesday morning following reports of a shooting.
The incident is the 19th shooting in Waterloo Region this year and the fourth fatal.
Earlier this year, Kurt McKechnie was shot in his Cambridge townhouse. He later died in hospital.
In April, 58-year-old Helen Schaller was killed after being shot multiple times in the area of King Street East and Church Street in Cambridge.
Kyle Parthe was also fatally shot in a Cambridge plaza after an altercation between two groups of men in August.
Regional police have acknowledged the spike in gun violence.
"Organized crime and those that commit crime they do not respect jurisdictions, they have tentacles in all communities," said Bryan Larkin, Chief of Police, back in July.
According to Stats Canada, 2018 saw 7 homicide victims, including one in September where a man sitting at a picnic table got shot multiple times in downtown Kitchener.
The Waterloo Crime Prevention Council says more needs to be done to prevent violence in the tri-cities.
"Where we're falling short is there's so much demand on the downstream end, demand for jailing people, for more enforcement. That we never really get to the upstream approaches that we know prevent crime and victimization," said Michael Parkinson, community engagement coordinator for the Waterloo Region Crime Prevention Council.
While there has been an increase in gun violence, the council maintains that Waterloo Region is still a safe area and that crime and victimization is an issue in every community right across Canada.
A previous version of this story indicated that there have been 18 shooting incidents in Waterloo Region in 2019. Since, police have updated that number to 19.