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Peoria city leaders react to recent gun violence

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PEORIA (WEEK) -- The month of May started with a series of violence in Peoria. 11 days in and police have been busy investigating several shootings, some deadly. Leaders on city council hope to address the violence.

Peoria Police said two teens were behind the shooting that killed 34-year-old Joshua Perkins, Sunday, at a southside gas station.

Last week, newly elected Councilwoman, Denise Jackson, called a special meeting to address that same area.

"It has created a serious quality of life issue for folks who like to patronize that gas station," said Jackson.

She said the city is talking with the plaza owner's attorney Wednesday, about changing the way they do business.

"I personally witnessed on a Saturday morning," Jackson continued, "drug sales going on at that same gas station."

At-large Councilman, John Kelly, said fixing these neighborhoods won't happen overnight.

"I think money is much less important, good policy I think is the answer, but it's going to take a long time," said Kelly.

Kelly said proving things like incentive programs and adding new businesses will help get this area to what it once was, decades ago.

"Fortunately, these things are still surprising. I don't want us to get to the point where they're not surprising," said Kelly.

"Until we as individuals accept responsibility for being parents, good role models for our children, no amount of money is going to turn things around," said Jackson.

So far in 2021, there have been eight homicides in Peoria.

Paige Blanzy

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