HAMPTON, Va. - In a room of about 50 people, some residents of Olde Wythe shared a common theme of fear and not being able to peacefully sleep at night due to what they say an uptick in crime.
"The criminal activity is increasing and that drives down property value, that drives out businesses, that drives down incoming citizens who want to make Hampton their home," says John Barker, resident.
Mayor Donnie Tuck says he is aware of the crime in the city, but also says he has not lost faith in Hampton. Wednesday night, he made it clear city leaders can only provide resources.
"For the most part, as a city council, there's not much more we can do but empathize and try and draw attention to the fact that these people are complaining about crime," says Mayor Tuck.
Some residents like Robert Stammler and his wife have been living in Hampton for 14 years, but as of late, the violence in the city has become too much to bear.
For Stammler and his wife, the night that sticks out the most is June 14 when they say about 25 rounds of gun shots were fired in front of their home, just after they wrapped up a graduation party. They also say on top of that, police did not respond fast enough.
"I called 911 again because nobody had showed up and it had already been about 20-30 minutes. Then I found 25 shells out there. Picked those up and called police again. In total, it was about 50 minutes when police got there," says Stammler.
Residents beg something needs to be done quickly. They also say the city can rest assured their cries won't be going anywhere.
"I think they have no option but to listen to us, because we're not going away," says Barker.
The city says there will be another public forum held on September 27 at St. Mary's Star of the Sea.