Violence on the West Side: How one neighbor sees it

Violent weekend in Grand Rapids with three shootings

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - It was a violent weekend in Grand Rapids with three shootings in the city. One attack ended a man's life.

Two of the shootings were on the city's Northwest Side, the third was in the southeast.

Marie Cimochowicz has been living on the West Side since the early 90's. "When I first bought my home, a lot of the homes were still owner occupied," she said.

But now, she said the neighborhood has drastically changed. "Now the developers and investors are snapping them up right and left, everything is turning into rentals and I feel it's really detrimental to the neighborhood."

She thinks there is a connection to violence on this side of town.

"It terrifies neighbors, it terrifies parents that have children. They don't want to let them out of the house to play because they don't know if they're going to get shot or not," Cimochowicz continued.

This year, there has been at least 10 people injured by gunfire on the city's Northwest Side.

"My neighbors own their home next door to us and they put it on the market, sold it in four days and they're gone," she said.

She said it's time to speak up.

"That's the worst saying I've ever heard in my life is 'snitches get stitches'," Cimochowicz said. "What kind of crap is that? Nothing is ever going to change and get cleaned up when people believe that and follow it, and won't make the calls necessary to get this stuff taken care of."

From her previous experience, she learned that when you see something, say something.

"We had the gunfire by our house, that car went by three times before they finally unloaded into the house and people saw that car going by," she explained. "You see cars going by, car loads of people keep going around the block or something - call.

"Make the call, you're better off making the call suspicious activity, and being safe than sorry."

Cimochowicz does not want to move.

"I don't want to move, I love my house and most of my neighbors. No I don't want to move, I want people to start making the calls necessary and report this activity so it can get cleaned up," she said.

She said there are a couple of community officers patrolling the West Side, but said she'd like to see more law enforcement presence to combat the crime.

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