WILKES-BARRE -- The ongoing gun violence in Wilkes-Barre has led to a response from the Federal Government. The United States Department of Justice will now aid the Diamond City to help combat crime.
It comes after seven people were shot in just six days in Wilkes-Barre in April.
Then, in May, Donald Bachman, a neighborhood crime watcher, was shot and killed just feet from his home on Willow Street. His murderer is still on the loose.
Police don't have any suspects and the issue of gun violence still sits fresh of the minds of many who work and live in Wilkes-Barre.
"I've been in Wilkes-Barre 22 years. It changed. It changed,” said Alonzo Randall of Wilkes-Barre.
"It's gotten worse over the past few years,” said Mary Jo of Exeter Township, who works in Wilkes-Barre.
But now federal officials are stepping in to try to curb the violence. The Justice Department's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) will be working with city police to target gangs and criminal networks, and find the sources of illegal guns.
People who live on Willow Street where Bachman was murdered wouldn't talk on camera out of fear of retaliation, but say more needs to be done to combat crime in this neighborhood and the rest of Wilkes-Barre.
"Too many guns, not enough police. They need more policing,” said one man who didn’t want to give his name.
"The best time we've ever seen cops down here was when that guy was shot on the corner, they were down here every day. And then it just faded away,” said another resident of Willow Street, also too afraid to give his name.
But some folks who like to visit Wilkes-Barre, like Maurice Constantine, are confident the new partnership with federal agents will help curb crime.
"Wilkes-Barre's a beautiful place. You know what I mean? And when they get that crime out of here, I think a lot of things, a lot of businesses will rise, a lot of people will flood in here,” said Constantine.
Officials with the ATF say agents are setting up a time to meet with police in Wilkes-Barre to come up with a "targeted and in depth" response. They couldn't tell us when that would happen, but promise to lower crime in the city.