Police presence remains in Brantford following two fatal shootings
BRANTFORD -- Community concern continues to grow in Brantford after two fatal shootings a few days apart.
The first happened on Wednesday. Police were called to a home on Diana Avenue. Police said 20-year-old Isaiah Castillo was taken to hospital, where he later died of his injuries.
On Saturday afternoon police were called to the area of Alfred and Wellington Streets where a man was found dead in a home with gunshot wounds.
Sanda Hill lives a few doors away from the home and was on her front porch that afternoon when she saw police cruisers covering her street.
“We were told to go back into our houses and stay there for safety,” Hill said.
A heavy police presence still on scene Tuesday afternoon left some residents on edge.
“I’ve been in Branford more or less on and off for 40 years and it just seems to be getting worse every year,” said one resident who lives nearby.
Jan Vanderstelt, the Ward 1, councillor called the Diana Avenue shooting a horrible loss.
“In the middle of the night, in the middle of a pandemic,” Vanderstelt said.
He said the fact that these shootings are happening during a pandemic make it harder to handle.
“An added element of fear and powerlessness as well. We can’t be as aware of our surroundings as much as we used to," he said.
In a statement to CTV News, Brantford’s mayor gave his condolences.
“As mayor, the safety and well-being of our residents is my primary concern which is why the city and Brantford police take incidents like this very seriously and I certainly feel for the victims and their families," Mayor Kevin Davis said. "Brantford is one of many communities across Canada who has felt the impact of gun violence, and while I can’t speak for police, it is my understanding that they believe the recent incidents were not random shootings and that the public should therefore not be overly alarmed.”
But some residents said it still isn’t sitting easy.
“The fact that it was only just around the corner from us. We’re very apprehensive about going out for a walk with the dogs,” said one resident who lives near Diana Avenue.
The city councillor in Ward 5, Brian VanTilborg, sent a statement to CTV News about gun violence in the community.
“The increasing amount of deadly violence through the discharge of firearms is relatively new to the neighbourhood. Gun related activities something which was rare a few short years ago, has become an unwelcome unwanted and ultimately tragic event for all of us. While I do not wish to presuppose any investigation, I do call on our higher levels of government to enact strict and harsh penalties for those engaged in gun violence," his statement said in part.
No arrests have been made in either shooting.
Police are searching for a male suspect in connection to the weekend shooting.
No suspect description has been released in connection to the Diana Avenue incident.
Anyone with information is urged to contact police or Crime Stoppers.