Antioch residents say violence is regular occurrence

November 16, 2011 7:12:55 PM PST
In Antioch police are investigating a fatal shooting by one of their own. They say a man was a danger and was warned, before they took him out. For some in the neighborhood it's a case of excessive force, but for others, it's another example of a community eaten apart by violence.

Antioch police killed 33-year-old Josh Petersen in a garage last month.

"That was an overkill and it just tore my heart up," said one resident who didn't want to be identified.

Shootings have become commonplace on Lemontree Court. Carina Santos says crime has melted away the very fabric that once made this a thriving neighborhood.

"Usually we just keep to ourselves. We don't even communicate with people around here," said Santos.

Pierre Bynum and his family live next door to where that shooting happened. Every day he and his siblings live in fear of being shot.

"If somebody's getting killed right there, it's just enough to traumatize a kid. It's bad enough for what they see on TV, it's just bad," said Bynum.

Security cameras were installed by the homeowners' association one year ago. They also have their own police force, but neighbors say that has not been enough to stop all of the violence.

Some neighbors say they have become desensitized to the violence.

"I shouldn't be used to it, but moving from one bad neighborhood to another, that's the only thing you can do is get used to it," said neighbor Tabitha Fisher.

A physiatrist who helped define post traumatic stress disorder says crime witnesses can suffer from the syndrome.

"It's like living in a Baghdad during the war or some area of combat and it's not that you get used to it, you don't," said Frank Ochberg, M.D., the Associate Director of the National Institute of Mental Health.

Antioch police declined an interview for this story only saying the investigation is still ongoing.

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