Community concerned after deadly Moxham shooting

Johnstown, Cambria County, Pa. - Johnstown police are investigating a deadly shooting in the Moxham neighborhood.

Investigators say 20-year-old Jason Neill was shot and killed in an alley near Wheat Street and Cypress Avenue Tuesday night.

Shots were reported just before midnight. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene around 1 a.m. Wednesday.

Police can't comment on whether or not they have leads on a suspect.

This deadly shooting comes just three days after a 15-year-old girl was injured in a shooting in Johnstown, an attack police say is tied to the shooting deaths of 18-year-old Tavion Williamson and 13-year-old Marquis Martin in December. Johnstown police said those crimes are linked to drugs and gangs.

Police haven't said whether Neill's murder is tied to those shootings.

Investigators and community leaders expressed concerns about the alarming number of young adults being shot to death.

"I don't recall this many young individuals dying due to violence in Cambria County since I've been in office. And it's a major problem," said Cambria County Coroner Jeff Lees.

"We're worried about the young people on our streets," said Jeffrey Wilson, a deacon at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Prospect. "Zero murders. That's what we're looking forward to. That's what we're trying to accomplish."

A group of city, community and church leaders are trying to get to the root of the problem: from a struggling economy to drugs to a lack of skilled workers looking for jobs

"We want to roll up our sleeves and work from the grassroots and talk with these young kids about what they need," said Wilson.

They say they need to change the mindset of the city's youth by engaging kids, their families, schools and other members of the community.

"It has to be from within the streets within the neighborhoods that are affecting whatever change happens," Wilson said.

If you'd like to learn more about efforts to stop violence in the city, contact the NAACP Johnstown Branch or the Unity Coalition of the Southern Alleghenies.

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