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People Arming Themselves in St. Paul Neighborhood in Response to Summer Crime

July 31, 2018 10:22 PM

There are at least two dozen people on St. Paul's North End obtaining permits to carry a concealed weapon in response to a summer increase in crime.

St. Paul Police spokesperson, Steve Linders, said police are also stepping up patrols.

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"Swarming the area with as many officers as possible, using more bike patrols to increase presence and there is now one squad car dedicated entirely to responding to shots fired in the area," Linders said.

RELATED: Man Hospitalized after Shooting in West St. Paul

The North End area that's seen the usual jump in summer crime lies primarily between Front and Larpenteur Avenues and 35E and Dale Street.

Tin Cup's Owner, Gidget Bailey, told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS she's obtained a permit to carry and half her staff has done the same so she can have two to three staff members armed with a firearm each night her restaurant is open.

"It is just a shame that it has come to this," Bailey said. "But, when you have to do this to make sure of your own safety, in a life or death situation, while you're making an honest living at work is pathetic, just pathetic."

Bailey said she's born and raised on the city's North End and to see it struggle with violence in recent years is tough for her, her family and her customers.

"I am frightened. I'm disgusted and I am sad. It's been an emotional roller coaster ride," Bailey said.

RELATED: Police: Suspect Victims in St. Paul Suspicious Death, Sexual Assault Knew Each Other

Her gun safety instructor, Gene, told KSTP that he's had 24 people from the neighborhood contact him for training to obtain a permit to carry and 21 of those people have already received their permits.

"They are so scared and to have 24 people in less than two-and-a-half months applying for permits to carry in one area is unheard of," Gene said.

Dee Walsh told KSTP she's lived in the North End neighborhood for 38 years and just this week she witnessed a gun incident at a nearby store and an even more frightening experience outside her home last summer.

"There were two cars shooting at each other at the end of the driveway," Walsh said. "So, I had to run inside and check on my grandson and husband to make sure none of the bullets ended up in the house."

Walsh said the situation has reached, for her family, a point of no return.

RELATED: Suspect in Shooting of South St. Paul Officers Charged with 4 Counts of Attempted Murder

"In my neighborhood, it is gunshots every day. Night, or day, it doesn't matter and we don't even go into the backyard anymore, my garden is dying and we are moving," Walsh said. "We are putting our house up for sale."

KSTP emailed City Council member Amy Brandmoen for a response to the neighborhood concerns in her ward, but have not yet received a response.

Credits

Jay Kolls

(Copyright 2018 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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