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Springfield city officials address rise in gun violence after weekend shootings

Springfield, Massachusetts, officials say they are stepping up efforts to combat gun violence. That's after shootings over the weekend left two people dead.

There have now been 22 homicides in the city this year. That's the highest number in 24 years, according to Masslive, though the Springfield Police couldn't confirm that.

Mayor Domenic Sarno and Springfield Police officials said the recent spike in gun violence was targeted at certain individuals.

Deputy Chief Steve Kent was among those who spoke at a press conference at police headquarters on Monday.

"We're talking about people that are engaged in behaviors that lead to what happens to them," he said. "That behavior may be carrying a gun, engaging in gang activity, [or] selling drugs. They're not random events that are happening to Joe Citizen as he goes about the normal events of his day."

Mayor Sarno said the city is working with federal law enforcement, including the FBI, to address the issue and he said Massachusetts law enforcement officials have promised more state police in the city.

Editor's note: Another shooting was reported in Springfield, Mass., August 14, 2023. Hampden County District Attorney Anthony Gulluni said at a press conference Monday afternoon, "we do have a homicide situation, that's an an ongoing investigation."

There is no ongoing threat, Gulluni said. Two people are dead, Gulluni confirmed, though he would not confirm if they were both homicides.

"I can confirm there was a homicide and two deaths," Gulluni said.

Several minors were injured, Gulluni said.

Before joining New England Public Media, Alden was a producer for the CBS NEWS program 60 Minutes. In that role, he covered topics ranging from art, music and medicine to business, education and politics.