Poughkeepsie leaders ask public for help to find troubled teens before tragedy strikes

Police said Moreira's two classmates were ambushed by people with guns just before 3 p.m. Tuesday afternoon on South White Street.

Ben Nandy

May 2, 2024, 10:06 PM

Updated 16 days ago


Student Aniyah Moreira joined Poughkeepsie police leaders, Poughkeepsie Mayor Yvonne Flowers and nonprofit leaders in City Council chambers to address violence among teenagers in the city.
Police said Moreira's two classmates were ambushed by people with guns just before 3 p.m. Tuesday afternoon on South White Street.
Moreira said it is time for city residents – young and old – to have a chat.
Moreira, representing students at local alternative school Nubian Directions, said the students are seeking "intergenerational community dialogue and community mentorships in our local language."
Moreira attends classes at Nubian Directions with the victims of Tuesday's shooting, ages 17 and 19.
Police described the incident as a "ambush-style" shooting, with multiple people shooting at a group on South White Street.
News 12 sat in for part of brainstorming session by Nubian Directions students and youth mentors, who were discussing how to deal with egos of young people, how to improve community policing, and how to boost local teens' self-worth.
Moreira views this moment as an opportunity, not a signal that the Nubian Directions students should run and hide.
"My family wanted me to stay in the house," she said of her family's initial reaction to Tuesday's violence. "They were like, 'Oh, we have to move out of Poughkeepsie.' But I think it's just a chance to make Poughkeepsie better."
Leaders of the anti-gun-violence program SNUG (GUNS spelled backwards) said at Thursday's press conference they need more help from the community to find young people who are in ongoing fights that might escalate.
They want to intervene before it is too late.
"So if you know any of these individuals in the community, please get them to SNUG before they are in hands we cannot help them with," SNUG representative Ivan Baxter said.
Police said that in surveillance video of Tuesday's shooting, they saw four people with handguns.
Both teen shooting victims are expected to survive, police said.
One weapons was recovered at the scene.
No arrests have been made.
Mayor Flowers is counting on tips from the community to help police make an arrest.
"We want peace, love and we want unity in our community," she said as she ended the press conference.
SNUG leaders are planning a peace walk through the neighborhood where the shooting happened, and reconnect with some of the students.
The walk will start Friday right as most many local students are walking home from classes.

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