SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) — The area of this weekend’s deadly shooting on North Cliff Avenue was already on Sioux Falls police radar. Less than one month ago, two people where hurt in a shooting just a few blocks farther north on Cliff. Police say that shooting was unrelated to this weekend’s homicide. But both incidents have people in the neighborhood on-edge.
Police are still looking for the suspect in Saturday’s deadly shooting: 34-year-old Ramon Smith. Smith allegedly shot three people, one fatally, outside an apartment in the 100 block of North Cliff.
Investigators say there’s a good chance Smith has already left the area. Meanwhile, police have yet to make an arrest in the May 17 shooting in the 900 block of North Cliff. Police say the victims and witnesses have been uncooperative. But that shooting last month prompted police to beef-up patrols in the neighborhood.
People who live near North Cliff are alarmed by the numbers in their neighborhood: two unrelated shootings, involving a total of five victims over a span of less than a month.
“I think it’s definitely a scary thing because we’ve got children in this neighborhood, tons of children,” Jayme Damm of Sioux Falls said.
“It’s the way our society’s going now. It’s the easiest solution to just pull a gun out,” Bryan Koenders said.
Police say they haven’t seen this kind of violence in the North Cliff neighborhood before. That’s why they have extra officers on duty spending more time patrolling the area.
“And really, what they’re trying to do is one, to try to make it a little safer, but also to see problems before they become big problems,” Sam Clemens of the Sioux Falls Police Dept. said.
“We’ve seen a lot of law enforcement drive by, we’ve had law enforcement stop and speak with us, so I can definitely tell the law enforcement are doing more to protect this neighborhood,” Damm said.
Some people in this neighborhood have installed surveillance cameras at their home. They say that’s a troubling sign of the times that they have to go to that extreme to keep their families safe.
“Especially because I bought a house with a fenced-in yard for my dogs and my nephews to play and it’s sad when I see something suspicious, and they have to come inside, when I thought I bought a house in a safe area,” Malinda Byrd said.
Police say it’s important for people in the neighborhood to report suspicious activity since they’re the vital eyes and ears for law enforcement.
“You get use to looking around, keep an eye on your environment and what’s around you, it’s just the way it goes,” Koenders said.
Residents of the neighborhood say it’s especially troubling since the recent shootings happened at random times. Saturday’s shooting took place in the afternoon, while kids were outside playing.