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New Bedford mayor hopes to curb violence after stray bullet strikes man in his apartment

A 60-year-old man was shot in New Bedford Monday, June 19, 2017. (WJAR)

New Bedford’s Mayor Jon Mitchell is making efforts to curb violence in the coastal city after a stray bullet hit a 60-year-old man in his apartment.

Police suspect the man was caught in the crossfire of rival gangs when he was hit at 50 Tallman Street on Monday around 3 p.m. Police said shots were fired around neighboring streets.

The victim, who does not want to be identified, told NBC 10 News he has a neck injury and is having trouble speaking.

Mitchell said although the city has seen double-digit drops in violent crime in the last several years, violence has not dropped in every area of New Bedford.

“That particular neighborhood has had some real pressing concerns for a while now,” he said.

In December, a man was shot and killed outside 51 Tallman St. There have been reports of at least five shootings in the last two months, including one that claimed the life of 18-year-old Brad Lourenco.

“We’ve got to double our efforts there,” Mitchell said. “We’re beefing up patrols, we’re starting this ‘Walk and Talk’ program where police officers will actually go to houses and businesses and talk to people directly so we can get good information on criminal activity before it actually happens.”

Mitchell said there are also other plans in the works to help the neighborhood.

“We’re also going to be beefing up code enforcement and a number of other municipal measures so we can bring some order back to that neighborhood,” he said. “We’ve done a good job restoring public safety in New Bedford but until every neighborhood is safe, we’re not all safe.”

Police officers walked through yards Tuesday afternoon and spoke with neighbors. The shooting is under investigation.

New Bedford police asked anyone with information about the shooting to call them at 508-992-7463 or send an email to tip@newbedfordpd.com.

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