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Spring Fury: Troy's Streets Ignite in a Battle Zone as Violence Erupts

This article is a direct street report from our correspondent and has not been edited by the 1st Responder newsroom.

Spring has arrived in the city of Troy. With this normally you have the spring daisies sprouting up from the flower beds in multiple neighborhoods around the city, but so are the multiple different caliber shell casings on the city streets are popping up in some of The City of Troy‘s hottest crime spots. The city of Troy’s Police Department has been extremely busy with numerous shots fired incidents and a stabbing. The city of Troy last year seen a extreme increase in violent crime and this year is starting out strong with numerous incidents.

On March 14, 2024, just before midnight Troy Police responded to multiple reports of shots fired at Congress Street near the intersection of third Street. Officers arrived on scene and discovered that they had multiple shell casings in the roadway and sidewalk area from a fight that had occurred resulting in the shooter shooting at those individuals. Police search the area but did not come up with the individual. That area of The City of Troy has numerous cameras, and no footage has been released to the public to have their assistance in identifying the shots fired suspect. No injuries were reported from that incident. 

Second incident was on March 21, 2024, around 4:15 PM, the city of Troy’s Police Department was dispatched to the area of 6th Avenue and 103rd Street in Lansingburgh after receiving multiple 911 calls for a reported shooting. Police quickly arrived on scene and discovered numerous shell casings in the roadway and on the sidewalk. Police also had projectiles that had hit a house nearby. As police were investigating and the fire department was responding to the scene for a reported shooting victim, police were notified that a vehicle had showed up at Samaritan Hospital with a gunshot wound victim with a gunshot wound to the face. While multiple units responded to the hospital units on scene began to interview and collect evidence on the incident.

Troy police detectives that are working the case were able to construct several pieces of evidence and leads. Detectives are currently working through the information and are making progress in the investigation. Earlier that next day detectives were out in the neighborhood scouring house the house looking for cameras that may have caught the shooting at 6th Avenue and 103rd Street. One of the nearby neighbors stated that they seen a subject running west from the scene with a puffy black coat, jeans, and appeared to be a teenager. Currently no arrest has been made in the shooting. The victim a 28-year-old troy man was in critical condition but stable at Albany Medical Center.

On March 27, 2024, at 2:13 AM over twenty shots rang out at the intersection of River Street and Glen Avenue as three individuals open fire into a house across the street from the corner store and took off westbound down River Street and threw an alleyway. The shots fired incident was heard by patrol officers in the area and multiple calls poured into the Rensselaer County Emergency Communication Center from neighbors around the incident location. Those police units quickly arrived on scene, but the suspects had already fled from that location. Police set up a perimeter around the location of the shots fired incident and began to collect evidence. One house sustained numerous bullet holes in it after the incident. This shots fired incident happened two days after the guilty verdict of Ramel Gulley and William Webb of the brutal murder of 16-year-old Anthony Christopher Junior that happened on January 5, 2022. The new shots fired incident is still under investigation at this time. No arrest has been made in this incident.

Later on in the evening hours Troy police officers conducted a traffic stop on sixth Avenue between Swift Street and Douw Street. During this traffic stop the driver of the vehicle and passenger were both interviewed and during the interview officers were able to determine that the passenger was in possession of an illegal loaded handgun with a high-capacity magazine. The passenger was immediately taken into custody. Police searched the vehicle and did not come up with any other items. The driver of the vehicle was issued several traffic tickets and released after the traffic stop had concluded. Imeek J. Echols, an 18-year-old from Troy, was held for arraignment in Troy City Court. Following the arraignment, he was remanded to Rensselaer County Jail in lieu of $7,500 cash bail. Echols faces charges of criminal possession of a weapon in the second and third degrees. 

Later that evening just after 10:30 PM numerous gunshots filled the quiet evening streets at the intersection of Third Street and Jefferson Street. Numerous individuals in the street we’re seeing running from that location and police units quickly arrived on scene and had numerous shell casings and unfired rounds in the street. Police units began to review footage from the incident and were quickly able to determine the direction of the two suspects involved in the shots fired incident. The description of those two individuals involved in the incident was given out over the radio and a captain responding to the scene noticed the two individuals crossing over the Congress Street bridge into the city of Watervliet. Those two individuals got onto a CDTA bus and thought they got away. Those two suspects were located on the bus traveling through the city of Watervliet down Broadway heading towards the city of Albany.

Troy Police units notified the city of Watervliet’s Police Department and requested assistance in making a high-risk traffic stop on the CDTA bus as the suspects were still considered armed and dangerous. Police units quickly formulated a plan and implemented the high-risk traffic stop and officers stormed onto the bus and took the two juvenile males into custody. Upon further search of their bag three loaded handguns with high-capacity magazines were located. One of the illegal handguns was unserialized. Both juveniles were immediately placed in the back of the patrol car and transport it down to Central Station for booking. Police units remained on scene for an extended period of time. Additional units returned back to the bus stop where the individuals got onto and searched for additional evidence.

When Troy Police got back to the station and ran the identities of one of the individuals involved in the shots fired incident it was discovered that they had a bench warrant for failure to appear in family court for a incident in November 2023 for possession of a loaded handgun while allegedly having committed a robbery. The two juveniles, aged 15 and 16 from Troy, are scheduled to appear in Rensselaer County Court the next day. The 15-year-old faces multiple charges, including a pre-existing bench warrant for failure to appear, criminal possession of weapons in the second and third degree (with 2 counts each), as well as attempted murder in the second degree (with 3 counts). Similarly, the 16-year-old is charged with criminal possession of weapons in the second and third degree (with 2 counts and 1 count respectively), along with attempted murder in the second degree (with 3 counts). Police did not release any of the two juveniles names or mugshots. Assistant police chief Of The City of Troy Steve Barker stated, “ We are grateful that no one was injured in such a reckless act and we hope these arrests will not only deter the involved suspects but those other individuals in our community who consider engaging in such dangerous activity.” 

On March 28, 2024, around 10:45 PM, the city of Troy‘s Police Department and fire department was dispatched to the area of 90 Congress St. near the intersection of third Street and Congress Street for a reported stabbing. Police arrived on scene and was able to confirm that the individual had been stabbed. Firefighters arrived on scene and began to provide advanced life support. Police began to conduct their investigation into the stabbing and learned the incident happened at Vivian’s Bar after a fight had broken out and the victim had been stabbed in his back. Troy firefighters transported the stab wound victim to Albany Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries. The victim of the stabbing was released the following morning. The individual responsible for the stabbing has not been captured and detectives are working to arrest the end individual. 

The city of Troy’s Police Department has had numerous arrests over the last week with juveniles from the Troy community caught committing shots fired incidents and possession of illegal handguns with high-capacity magazines on the streets of The City of Troy. These individuals identities are protected under state laws from being prosecuted as adults in the crimes that they have been committing with the illegal handguns. The "Raise the Age" law in New York refers to a series of reforms aimed at treating 16- and 17-year-olds as juveniles in the criminal justice system rather than automatically prosecuting them as adults. Before these reforms, New York was one of only two states in the U.S. that automatically prosecuted 16- and 17-year-olds as adults. The law gradually raised the age of criminal responsibility, providing young offenders with access to age-appropriate services, diversion programs, and rehabilitation options within the juvenile justice system. This shift was aimed to improve outcomes for young people by focusing on rehabilitation and reducing the likelihood of recidivism. With the family courts tied up with numerous cases, normally these juveniles are kicked loose and given another court date and not normally sent to a juvenile holding facility in the state of New York as most of them are at full capacity. A significant portion of the youthful offenders arrested with firearms and violent crimes are going back out and able to commit additional crimes as we have seen above. The law created by lawmakers in the state of New York called the "Raise the Age" law has been working against law-enforcement for some time now and has been causing major issues with being able to hold these individuals responsible for the crimes that they have been committing. 

Just previously in the city of Troy on March 19, 2024, a 14-year-old was arrested and charged with numerous charges of criminal possession of a firearm as Troy Police recovered eight illegal handguns along with multiple high-capacity magazines. That individual was also sent to Family Court to face charges. The city of Troy over the last few weeks has seen a significant increase in gun violence and illegal gun arrest. Criminals are utilizing the "Raise the Age" law by having teenagers as young as they can commit violent crimes on the street and these adult criminals know that the youthful offenders will simply be released afterwards and face very little consequences with the "Raise the Age" law as numerous useful offender facilities are full to capacity and lot of the programs that have been set up under this law are at full capacity and result in very little action taken by the courts. A lot of times these youthful offenders do not show back up to court to face their charges and the warrants for their arrest timeout. 

The city of Troy has numerous programs designed to curve gun violence in the community such as SNUG. The city of Troy also has numerous youth programs available to curve the violence in the city and give alternatives to teenagers. Mayor Carmella Mantello‘s office was asked the question of with all of the youth programs available in the city of Troy do you believe that they are actually working to curve the violence within the teenagers as most of these incidents have been conducted by teenagers ranging in age from 15 to 17? Sidewinder Photography asked multiple questions after this of the following what is the current administrations plans to curve the gun violence on the city of Troy's streets as there has been numerous shots fired incidents in the last few days including one person shot in the face? The shots fired location seem to be continuous hotspots in the city of Troy and residence in those area state that they do not see a police presence in the neighborhoods until the incidents happen. What is the administration plans to have better police presence in those hotspots? Are you going to implement more aggressive policing to curve the violence in these locations? A large majority of these incidences are occurring in front of a corner stores in the City of Troy. Last evening at the corner store at 3rd Street and Jefferson Street there was a significant amount of trash out in front of the business including glass beer bottles broken on the ground, chicken wing bones throughout the street  and a significant amount of blight. Neighbors have complained about the conditions being generated from these locations throughout the years. What is your plan to improve conditions at these locations throughout the city? Mayor Carmella Mantello‘s office who was asked these questions on March 28, 2024, never returned our multiple email request for comment.

Troy Police state they are committed to responding to criminal acts within the community they also want to build awareness, provide education and connections to local organizations and evidence-based investigation/enforcement in hopes of a safer community. Assistant Police Chief of the Troy Police Department Steve Barker has stated numerous times that they are very committed going after these individuals that are committing these acts of violence in the community.


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