MORGANTOWN, W.Va (WDTV) – Two recent shootings in downtown Morgantown have left business owners on edge.
“We don’t even feel safe to have our kids here and be at the store on the weekends,” said Alexis Munhall, Owner of The Critter Cottage on High Street.
The first shooting happened Oct. 30th when a man was hit by a bullet after several shot were fired outside the bar, The Bank.
The second shooting happened on Saturday when a man in a ski mask also fired several shots, hitting someone in the leg, before taking off.
Business owners say they’re tired of waiting for change and have decided to express their frustrations.
“It’s very sad that we have to deal with safety issues of being on high street and that you don’t even want to ark very far because you’re worried about walking to your car,” said Hope Harling, Retailer at Cool Ridge.
“It feels like it’s been every weekend that this is happening I used to walk to work, and I definitely do not walk to work anymore,” said Kacey Hughes, a bartender at Gibbie’s Pub and Eatery.
The Morgantown Police Department said they are severely understaffed and don’t have the manpower needed, but business owners say they aren’t doing enough and its starting to affect their customer base.
“We need law enforcement out there to stop this kind of stuff before it gets out of hand,” said Isac Galloway, GM of Pita Pit.
“I have been seeing a lot more college students and adults and less children which I can understand if people didn’t want to bring their kids on high street to come visit the animals or the local shops because they don’t feel safe,” Munhall said.
“I had clients who were thrilled to walk in the door without their husbands sitting in the car waiting for them to make sure they are safe this is all too much we need triple the amount of police that we have on the street right this second and we need to eliminate the draw that brings in these people from out of our area,” said Coni Merandi, Owner of Coni and Franc.
Some owners we spoke with had opposite feelings and say they feel the police are doing all they can with the resources they have.
“For the amount of officers, they have that they actually have to work with they are doing everything they can really they seem to take care of everything that needs to be taken care of I think they are just stretched too thin,” said Jim Coombs, Owner of Coombs Flowers.
No arrests have been made in either shooting.
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