DALLAS -- In the Queen City community of South Dallas, it is rare to find Ava Webb sitting on her porch and enjoying the scenes on her quiet street.
”I stay in the house,” Webb said. “At night, when it gets dark, I definitely don’t come out.”
Webb is not alone in that mindset. Like many of her neighbors, she says crime trends outside are keeping families indoors.
”Are we safe in the area? Are we going to walk out and get shot? Is somebody going to be shooting? Is a kid going to get killed or something?” Webb said she wonders.
Safety has been top-of-mind for many neighbors across South Dallas who have been buzzing about episodes of gun violence over the past few weeks.
On Thursday, Dallas ISD Police cars were visible outside Madison High School, one day after students witnessed an officer-involved shooting of an armed teenage suspect on Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard.
“The scariest part was thinking that he was going to accidentally shoot one of the children,” one eyewitness said.
In addition to officer-involved shootings in South Dallas this month, residents are also talking about a series of drive-by shootings near Second Avenue and Metropolitan. It is a corner, police say, that has become a hot spot for violence this month.
Dallas police announced the arrest of 18-year-old Odarius Griffin on Thursday. He is accused in the murder of 24-year-old Demarcus Williams, which happened in that area.
Just steps away from Webb’s street, another man was gunned down on Pine Street just a few days ago.
”They shot that guy seven times and killed him in broad daylight,” Webb said.
Dallas police commanders say they have been working to tackle crime and quality-of-life concerns by increasing patrols in and around South Dallas.
Officers say they are working to identify property owners of vacant lots where crowds are loitering, and putting pressure on stores allegedly allowing questionable behavior to occur, among other things.
Neighbors say those efforts help. However, in South Dallas, some residents say they would like to see more of a crackdown.
”We want more patrol in the area,” Webb said. “I don’t care if they ride horses, ride bikes. We want to see them.”