Illegal guns remain plentiful in Wilkinsburg even as the borough reduces violence

.alignleft, .left {@media (max-width: 500px) { float: none; }}

A Little Tikes basketball hoop sits in the corner of the porch on Rebecca Avenue in Wilkinsburg. A witch on a broomstick dangles from the home’s awning, marking the house for trick-or-treaters in advance of Halloween. A syringe sits by the back tire of a Ford sedan parked at the curb. Bricks of heroin are stashed inside the car, the white rectangles visible through the windshield. A search warrant will reveal a revolver hidden in the trunk, one of at least 50 guns seized this year that Wilkinsburg police say are illegally carried.

Shootings in Garfield dampen the community’s rejuvenation

*Desktop: Use your cursor to move around this 360° video. Mobile: Move your phone around to view.*

In the first six months of 2017, Garfield surpassed all Pittsburgh neighborhoods in shootings. The neighborhood shows promise, drawing lively crowds to Penn Avenue, but only blocks away, parts of the neighborhood are pocked by abandoned lots, crumbling sidewalks and occasional gunfire. In early June, Pittsburgh’s Zone 5 Police Commander Jason Lando said recent shootings didn’t seem like a significant spike compared to the previous year. Police statistics, however, show that by June 2 Garfield had already surpassed the shootings total for all of 2016, which includes a combination of fatal, non-fatal shootings and shootings without injury.