Duluth Community Leaders React to Recent Violence

Six Shootings Happened in City Since Mid-January

DULUTH, Minn. – So far, 2017 is shaping up as a violent year in Duluth.

“This is not the norm of what we’ve seen,” said Mayor Emily Larson.  “There’s no question about it.”

Despite six shootings in less than a month, Mayor Larson says the recent rash gun violence in Duluth isn’t unique to the city.

“I think Duluth is seeing what many communities see,” said Mayor Larson.

While understandably concerned about the recent violence, Mayor Larson has full confidence in Duluth’s police force.

“This is what they train to do,” said Mayor Larson about police response to the violence.  “To see them in action when there is an incident is really pretty staggering.  The amount of effort, the amount of expertise that goes into it.”

Some community leaders, like former mayoral candidate Chuck Horton, believe recent gun violence is a bye–product of a bigger problem.  Drugs.

“I’ve seen the drugs get worse, I’ve seen all of this happen,” said Horton.  “This is going to get a lot worse, a lot worse.”
Horton’s lived in Duluth nearly all his life and sees the changes first hand.

“I grew up in a Duluth where we were protected by our elders,” said Horton.  “We were safe, we could play outside, we didn’t have to worry about anybody trying to approach us to buy heavy, hardcore drugs.”

Mayor Larson believes the Duluth Police Department has the problem headed in the right direction.

“I have full confidence in their process, in what they’re doing,” she said.  “I’m so grateful for their leadership and support of this community.”

But Horton counters the community at-large starts taking a more significant role.

“Support your police,” said Horton.  “But I also encourage you to call your elected officials, your city council people and say enough is enough, do your job.”

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