More shots fired outside Troy home where teen died last week

TROY – Memorial candles on the porch at 151 Sixth Avenue in Troy pay tribute to Zaccai James, a 14-year-old boy gunned down in front of his house Saturday night.

Gunmen were back at the scene Wednesday night, leaving bullet holes and broken glass in random houses and automobiles.

“I never ever thought that this is what it would be,” said one woman, a longtime resident of 6th Avenue, “I’m spending my morning looking at apartments, so we can move out of here.”

With residents already moved out from 151, windows and doors were boarded up there Thursday morning. At the same time, neighbors, many of them fearful of retaliation, spoke anonymously about the living hell they’ve been coping with.

“It seems like these kids just have no regard for anyone’s life,” a woman stated, “I watched the video that they caught down the street and these kids were shooting. They didn’t care where they were shooting. They were just shooting wherever.”

“It’s just reckless, absolute reckless violence,” Troy Police Lieutenant Steven Barker said. “I think we all know it’s larger than a police issue now. It’s kind of like a society issue, and at what point does the camel’s back break? What else needs to occur?”

“It’s hard (to know what to tell my children) because you don’t want to tell them, because you don’t want to expose such a young mind to things like that,” said a Sixth Avenue mom. “Now it’s (shootings) almost normal.”

“My son is asking me last night, “Are people outside killing each other?” a mom reflected. “That broke my heart. I’ve been crying about it all morning.”

An exacerbated mother wondering how many others are sharing a similar nightmare.

“Nobody is watching their kids anymore,” a neighborhood mother opined, “Nobody wants to be a parent. Everybody tolerates their kids, and that’s why this happens.”

Police say for now, they will continue beefed up patrols in the neighborhood.