Schenectady residents rally to Take Back the Hill

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The Hamilton Hill area of Schenectady was hit with a fatal shooting this week, and the community is looking for answers and an end to the violence.

Law enforcement, community leaders, clergy and those impacted by gun violence filled the streets of Schenectady on Friday. Their message was clear: they all have to work together if they want to make a real change.

New York State Police searched from above as Schenectady police searched for a suspect on the ground near Congress Street and Third Avenue Friday afternoon. It started as a traffic stop and an attempt to apprehend a suspect with a warrant.

“One of the other occupants, who was not the individual we were looking for, exited the vehicle and withdrew a handgun out of his sweatpants pocket dropping the gun onto the ground and then taking off on foot,” Schenectady Police Lt. Mark McCracken explained.

As the search continued, hundreds later gathered to take back their streets. They  marched against gun violence after a number of shootings this summer.

Among the marchers was Kareen Tolliver. Her son, Kussan, was shot and killed Monday night.

“I am sick,” she said. “They don’t think about people’s families and stuff. My heart is broken. They have to stop all this shooting. My baby was only 18 years old, and they took his life like that.”

In a plea to catch Tolliver’s killer, Mayor Gary McCarthy spoke out as the march ended at Jerry Burrell Unity Park.

“These are not random acts of violence,” he said. “There’s a small group of people who are engaged in a course of conduct that just has such tragic and devastating effects on individual families and the community as a whole.”

Schenectady police also urged the community to use the “see something say something” motto.

“I understand there’s a cultural thing in regards to snitching and stuff like that, but those are things that simply need to be overcome,” McCracken said.

If you have information about the crimes, call the Schenectady police tip line at (518) 788-6566.

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