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N. Amityville residents used to gunshots in neighborhood

Police inspect a suspects car on Coolidge Ave

Police inspect a suspects car on Coolidge Ave in North Amityville. Three people were shot in three locations in North Amityville Friday morning. (January 22, 2010) Credit: /Paul Mazza

Gunshots like those that rang out above the din of busy Route 110 midmorning on Friday have been occurring all too often these days, said residents of North Amityville, who are bristling from a spate of violence this month.

>> PHOTOS: Images from the crime scenes in North Amityville

"It's getting bad out here," said one woman who declined to provide her name as she peered over yellow police tape stretched across Coolidge Avenue near Route 110. "Seems to be happening every week."

Other residents walked up to the tape, surveyed the scene for a few seconds and shook their heads with disdain at the familiar images: Police cars clogging the street. Detectives taking measurements and interviewing people. Shell casings littering the sidewalk.

Police were investigating two shootings in the neighborhood that they believe are related and that occurred within blocks and just minutes of each other. The shootings follow two other shootings that have occurred in the area in the past two weeks. It is unclear if they are all related.

Neighbors cited drugs, gangs and an uneasy sense of things getting out of hand.

"I don't like this at all," said George Miller, 68, a Vietnam War veteran and lifelong North Amityville resident who stood outside a Route 110 deli. "They need to get guns off the street."

The Army veteran said the same young men who quickly draw guns on North Amityville's streets would cower if they faced real combat. "I've seen it," he said. "They cry like babies."

For one woman, the shooting hit close to home, literally.

She said she heard a series of shots, prompting her to duck and then call police because the shooting occurred right outside her home. "I heard the shots, hit the floor and called the police," said the woman, who chose to remain anonymous. "Then I saw the boy on the ground."

Several neighbors of the South Prospect Street home where the other shooting occurred declined to provide their names but said the yard and driveway was a hangout spot for young men who had feuded with other neighbors.

Devon Brown, 44, said he heard two gunshots Friday outside his home. "There's trouble around here all the time, but not like this," Brown said. "I know it's a hot area."

With Andrew Strickler

>> PHOTOS: Images from the crime scenes in North Amityville

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