It’s a common story in Dubuque; a person grows up here, moves away and then moves back. At least, that’s Dubuque native Terri Lehnhardt’s story.
“I didn’t want to live in a big town, that’s why I came back here. I bought this cute little house right in the middle of downtown,” she explained.
She’s noticed some changes to her neighborhood from when she was growing up.
“We used to be a sleepy, little, go-to-bed-with-your-door-unlocked kind of place and it’s just not like that anymore.”
Used to leaving her doors unlocked, Lehnhardt’s car was broken into and everything was taken but her CD player.
Then, one night last October when Lehnhardt and her son were at home sleeping, their house was broken into.
“They stole everything that was electronic on my first floor,” she said.
While these incidences did not involve guns, Lehnhardt is no stranger to hearing gun shots in her neighborhood.
Lehnhardt says, “It’s terrifying.”
Lieutenant Scott Baxter says that gun violence is on the rise in her area.
He said, “These last few years have got us really concerned obviously.”
The numbers of confirmed shots fired calls prove that gun violence is on the rise. In 2009 there were six, 2010 and 2011 there were just five and in 2012 there were eight. From 2012 to 2013, however, the number spiked from eight to 25. In 2014 there were 25 confirmed reports of shots fired, and so far in 2015 there have already been 30.
City officials have plans in place to deal with the rise in crime, but Lehnhardt wants to take action into her own hands.
She said, “We have to get back to our basic, like ‘Who’s in my neighborhood?’ Knowing the people in my neighborhood. I don’t know that we could do it any other way.”
Stay tuned for Allison’s second installment of Shots Fired where she delves into why this rise in gun violence is happening and what can be done about it.
Allison is a senior at Loras College and is a Dubuque native. She's the Producer of LCTV News, along with Payton Van Vors, as well as an anchor and reporter. This past summer, Allison had an internship with KCRG in Dubuque, and she's continuing to work for them this Fall. Allison reports because she loves keeping her community informed on issues and events that matter to them.