- Associated Press - Saturday, February 4, 2017

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - A Springfield, Missouri, neighborhood is on edge after two killings in less than a week.

Police were called just after 2 a.m. Wednesday to a home and found the body of 19-year-old Zechariah Miles. He had been fatally shot.

On Jan. 26, police found the body of another 19-year-old, David Shockley, in the carport of a home just down the block. He had been shot twice.

Two women were charged with burglaries in connection to Shockley’s death, but no one has been charged in either killing, the Springfield News-Leader reported (https://sgfnow.co/2k4FYG0 ).

Police don’t think the killings are related. Springfield Police Chief Paul Williams posted on Twitter that there is “nothing to indicate anything more than a tragic coincidence.”

But Michele Friederich, who lives in the neighborhood, says she feels unnerved.

“I refuse to let fear get me out of here. … I got a dog and a can of wasp spray and a tee-ball bat,” she said. “I’m not gonna buy a gun, but I kind of wish I had a bigger dog.”

Helen Miles, 83 and no relation to Zechariah Miles, has lived in her house since 1960 and couldn’t recall a single homicide on her street until now.

“It’s kind of a sinking feeling,” Miles said.

Otto Barke, 96, said he moved from a farm to a house on the street just weeks ago.

“It’s getting wicked,” Barke said.

Another neighbor, 70-year-old Jerry Melton, said part of the problem is that too many young people don’t work and have time on their hands. And he sees another problem.

“There ain’t enough God in this country,” Melton said. “That’d stop a lot of it right there.”


Information from: Springfield News-Leader, https://www.news-leader.com

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