U.S. Attorney David Hickton told people who attended a gun violence forum in Squirrel Hill Wednesday night that a generation is being annihilated by gun violence and outlined steps his office has been taking to attempt to reduce shootings.
Also at the panel hosted at Temple Sinai were Pittsburgh public safety director Michael Huss, Allegheny County deputy district attorney Steven Stadtmiller, city police Detective Joseph Bielevicz, security expert Carmen Gentile, and Shira Goodman, executive director of advocacy group CeaseFirePA.
Mr. Hickton focused on Project Safe Neighborhoods, which brings together agencies at different levels to focus on problems particular to one area, and to mentoring programs. He also spoke about efforts to track straw buyers, who purchase guns illegally for someone else.
Detective Bielevicz focused primarily on statistics generated out of the city's Zone 5 station in Highland Park, which typically sees the highest rate of violent crime throughout the city. Pittsburgh police tracked 82 guns last year from areas covered by that zone and found that more than half of them originated from within the county.
He and others emphasized the importance of reporting lost or stolen guns so that police can more easily decipher which ones they should track as being related to the gun and drug trade.