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Man dead after Sunday afternoon shooting in downtown Charlottesville

One man is dead after a reported shooting on South Street in downtown Charlottesville Sunday afternoon.

Charlottesville police on the scene told The Daily Progress that the matter was being investigated as a "suspicious death" and that they did not believe there to be "any immediate threat to the community."

Neither the victim nor any suspect were named.

Police had much of the 200 block of South Street cordoned off Sunday afternoon.

A thunderstorm had moved through the area Sunday afternoon, and a canopy had been erected over the sidewalk where a tarpaulin had been draped over the body of the victim.

It was reported that the deceased had been struck by a bullet in the upper part of his body.

There has been a recent uptick in gun violence in the Charlottesville area in the past six months.

According to the most recent figures, violent crime in Charlottesville was up a little more than 5% last year — and 30% over the past two years.

Counting Sunday, there have been six homicide cases in the city since the start of the year. That number eclipses the tally in recent memory, according to current and former law enforcement authorities.

Charlottesville Police Chief Michael Kochis said earlier this year that the department was responding to one shots-fired call a day.

Under Kochis, who joined the force in mid-January, the police department has been working to attract new staff and patrol communities more regularly in an effort to engage with the community and bring down the crime rate. Kochis has also floated a gun buyback program that the city is now considering — though opinions are mixed on whether such programs are effective.

While police in surrounding Albemarle County have said that the recent rise in gun violence in the area is directly related to gang activity, police within Charlottesville city limits have routinely described the origins of the violence as "neighborhood beefs."

Source: www.dailyprogress.com

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