Two teenagers from Madison have been arrested in the murder of a 17-year-old on Madison's Southwest side, and for many residents, the drive-by slaying is just the latest in an escalating wave of crime and random violence.
"It's gotten to the point where you don't feel safe running down Hammersley anymore," says Tim Alexander, who's live in the area for nearly 20 years. Alexander says his neighborhood became ground zero for the city's first homicide of the year Tuesday night. "I wasn't home but my wife was out and she's a big gardener. She was out like she likes to do, taking care of the back yard, and two police officers ran through with their guns drawn and told her to run into the house and lock the doors."
Madison police have arrested Deandre Bernard and Kendrick Briggs, both 16, in connection with the death of Karamee Collins, Junior. Both teens could be charged with First Degree Intentional Homicide. A third person was arrested for possessing a firearm, and turned over to juvenile authorities. Police also recovered the weapon that was used in the shooting.
Thuy Pham Remmele is the neighborhood's alder on the Madison city council. "This is an old neighborhood. Rent is cheaper, so people move in here," she says. "I'm more worried about the minority, the people with fixed income, who have no choice but have to stay here. People who could (move) already voted with their feet."
The area came together at a community meeting following a murder two years ago. That led to 30 new police positions in the budget. Police say this week's murder is not tied to shootings that have been taking place recently.