Mayor Gainey holds a press conference after the recent wave of violence

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Mayor Ed Gainey spoke following a recent outbreak of violence in and around Pittsburgh.

Gainey said he believes the recent homicides can be solved and he trusts his police department to bring the criminals to justice.

Three high-profile arrests have been made in connection with these recent attacks, Gainey said.

Public safety remains Gainey’s number one priority. Additionally, the mayor said he will work with local communities and public safety officials to address South Side concerns.

Next a shooting on Carson Street which injured two people on Sunday, Gainey reiterated that the South Side remains a viable part of the Pittsburgh community, pointing out that there are nearly 30 licensed bars and liquor establishments in an area several blocks from Carson Street, and every weekend brings thousands of customers to the area, which has an undeniable impact on public safety.

“We can’t have the disruptive behavior that erupted on our South Side, and we plan to focus all of our policing efforts on that behavior,” Gainey said.

Gainey also called for the re-enactment of the destructive properties program. In a show of solidarity, Gainey said he will walk the streets on the south side after midnight this weekend.

Public officials are planning a forum on Tuesday to get input from community leaders and find solutions to keep South Side residents safe.

Deputy Major Crimes Chief Lavonnie Bickerstaff then highlighted some of the work local officers have been doing to keep the city safe. Four violent individuals were arrested just last week in connection with crimes the district attorney’s office is investigating.

The first case mentioned was an arrest for the death of 18-month-old De’Avry Thomas. The boy was fatally shot in downtown Pittsburgh last month after a stray bullet hit him inside a vehicle.

And a second arrest came in a shooting in Homewood where a man was shot and killed and a woman was injured.

A third arrest was made when authorities said they brought in a shooting suspect following an incident on the south side slopes in March.

Public Safety Director Lee Schmidt outlined changes that will be made to the South Side in the coming days, including the addition of more lighting as well as a ban on parking along Carson Street on 17 and June 18. The goal, Schmidt said, is for everyone to have a good time while staying as safe as possible.

“Violence in any part of our city affects us all and will not be tolerated,” Schmidt said.

There have been 30 homicides in the city this year, Schmidt added. The arrest rate sits at around 27%, which he said is higher than the national average.

Seventeen uniformed officers and cruisers will be patrolling Carson Street this weekend, according to Pittsburgh police. Detectives and DUI officers will also be present.

Officials are asking anyone with additional information about any of these incidents to come forward.

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