Community leaders calling for "peer support" following east side shooting

UPDATE (WKOW) -- Madison police are sharing more information about their investigation into the shooting at an east side gas station in Madison early Sunday.

At a news conference this afternoon,Police Chief Mike Koval says one victim has been released from the hospital.

He also says the incident stem from "hostilities" that began in Dodge County Saturday night and escalated to the activity in Madison Sunday morning.

Chief Koval says the city saw over 140 shots fired last year, and worries that number will increase this year.

"I feel like we're pacing a little ahead of ourselves than last year, and it's concerning," said Chief Koval, who is calling on the community to help curb violence in the city. "I will be going to an awful lot of visitations over the course of the year unless we can do something definitively to churn this momentum in a different direction, there's no doubt in my mind it's going to get worse."

Members of the Focused Interruption Coalition are calling on the city to begin implementing the 15-Point Violence Prevention Plan.

"We have to put these young men to work, and give them employment opportunities, we also need to invest in community centers, and look at the 15-Point plan and put resources behind it," said Boys and Girls Club of Dane County CEO Michael Johnson.

The prevention plan has been approved by the City of Madison to budget $400,000 to implement the Peer Support element that gives members of the community peer support in order to combat violence.

"You wanna take guns off the streets? Give these young men jobs," said Johnson. "We need to start putting boots on the ground, right now."

Police are still looking into the motive of Sunday's shooting.

According Chief Koval, investigators have not ruled out that the incident was gang-related.

However, family members of the shooting victims say it wasn't either gang or drug-related.

"These are fathers, they take care of their children, and they're providers for their whole family, they're loving people," said Shirley Norman-Johnson, the sister of a shooting victim.

Police are still looking for suspects involved in the shooting. 

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