Tuesday, September 23, 2014

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Albany pastor calls on community to stop violence after fatal shooting

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Albany/HV: Albany pastor calls on community to stop violence after fatal shooting
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Friends and family remember the life of 35-year-old Thomas Johnson, who was shot and killed in Albany Thursday night. Innae Park has the latest on the investigation.

ALBANY, N.Y. – “These young men. I've done many funerals with a young kid in the casket. That's not cool,” said Pastor Avery Comithier of Elijah Missionary Church.

Now another man will be laid to rest. Albany Police say Thomas Johnson was shot just after 6 p.m. Thursday evening in the area of Second Avenue and Clinton Street, and then later died at the hospital.

James Farmar stopped by 20 Second Avenue and grieved the loss of his friend and relative, whom he called Anthony.

“I seen how much he was a leader,” he said of Johnson.

Farmar believes the shooting was targeted. He said, “This is not just an isolated incident. We know it's a group of you.”

Police haven't released any information on suspects yet, or even where exactly the shooting happened.

As a result, many are worried. Resident Amin Bremji lives a few blocks north, and he said, “I'm really concerned. I might even think like, maybe I should move or stay here.”

Elijah Missionary Church is also just a few blocks up on Second Avenue, and for the pastor of the church right in the middle of what he calls increasing violence, action is the only option. When asked if the current violence was at its worst that he’s seen in the decades he’s lived in Albany, Comithier replied, “Worst? I hate to use that word but yes, it's [the violence is] getting more and more.

Even so, Comithier is not discouraged.

"What we want to do is let them know there's something better. You don't have to hang out on the corner,” he said. “I think there's hope.”

We're told by friends and family who stopped by the home that the 35-year-old had a young daughter. Her current whereabouts are unknown.

Police have no word on a motive, and have no suspects in custody at this time.

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