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Mott Park neighbors in Flint scared after repeated drive-by shootings, lack of response

A spokesperson for the City said the mayor and police chief are working with the neighborhood association to address their concerns.
Published: Mar. 1, 2021 at 6:06 PM EST
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - (3/1/2021) - “Something, anything! I would like to see something done,” Martin Wenn said.

The Flint man explained the people in his Mott Park neighborhood feel like they’re living in a war-zone, as they fall asleep to gunshots multiple nights a week.

Wenn said he’s given up on calling the police. They reached out to ABC12 News scared for their safety.

Wenn believes Marquette Street is the most popular and dangerous street in the Mott Park neighborhood. He said it’s always busy because it’s an easy cut through.

And, it’s where Wenn explained multiple drive-by shootings have happened several times a week for months now.

“My neighbor right here has had bullets fly into his living room,” he shared. “Just the other night, on Friday night, I heard a couple ‘ting, ting’ right out front of my house. I got kids inside. Now, they’re not -- they’re not just target practice, they’re shooting guns at people and things.”

Wenn moved to the Mott Park neighborhood in August. He lives with his wife and two kids, plus they’ve got a baby on the way.

Wenn said he always heard the area was a great place to live. But now, he said he can’t walk outside his home after dark without his head on a swivel.

“I was out here last night just as the sun went down, finishing installing my invisible fence,” he explained. “And I found myself -- anytime a car would come -- like, you know, is that one of the vehicles I saw drive by when there was a shooting?”

The surveillance camera on Wenn’s home shows just how close that danger is.

He shared footage from a shooting he said happened on Friday night. Watching it, you can hear three gunshots as a car drives past his home.

Then, another night, he showed ABC12 footage the camera caught of a car flying down the street, shooting off about 16 gunshots.

He’s given up on calling 9-1-1 for help.

“After seeing no response multiple times,” he explained. “Even 911 will tell me how ‘they’re doing what they can’.”

But Wenn said he has a hard time believing that because one of the only times he said he’s seen police show up, he offered his footage of the incident. Wenn said police didn’t want it, which makes him wonder if the shooting was even investigated.

He believes specific homes are causing the trouble and is hopeful police could target those. But, he said, all the neighborhood wants is an officer on patrol. Wenn thinks that will make the shooters think twice before continuing to terrorize the neighborhood.

“Unfortunately for this neighborhood, they’re not gonna be able to keep, you know, decent residents here very long like this,” Wenn said. His family is already looking to move as a result of the violence. Because he said, he’s tired of feeling unsafe in his own home.

Flint’s Police Chief turned down an on-camera interview regarding this; but a spokesperson for the City said Chief Green and the Mayor are working closely with the Mott Park Neighborhood Association to address their concerns.

The City suggested ABC12 should reach out to the group’s President. She confirmed she’s in constant contact with her councilperson, the Mayor and Chief.

“That’s been a huge thing, because they are reaching out and I don’t feel like I’ve been ignored,” Nena Woodall shared.

She has served as President of the Mott Park Neighborhood Association for the last 3 years.

Woodall explained communicating concerns to the City and Police is key, because that’s how they’re going to know something needs to be done.

While she’d like to see an officer patrolling her neighborhood, just like Wenn would, she understands it’s just not possible right now.

“The bigger thing that we have talked about is trying to get more of a communication or a partnership with all the different entities that are around with the Genesee County Sheriff’s Department and the State Police until Flint is able to get funding to get more police officers onto the road,” Woodall said.

She explained their group has also offered to buy cameras to install in their neighborhood. Woodall said they’re willing to do anything that will help the City and Police keep her and her community safe.

“If I sit there and I’m frustrated, then nothing gets solved,” she shared.

A spokesman for the City is encouraging all residents to join their neighborhood association “so that we can continue working cooperatively to move our city forward.”

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