Shooting at North 12th and Buttonwood streets in Reading

READING, Pa. - Reading's mayor and police chief will go before cameras next week to address recent crime in the city.

Mayor Eddie Moran announced Friday that he and RPD Chief Richard Tornielli will hold a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

Moran said they will speak about the recent violence and the community initiatives that will be undertaken to address it.

The city has seen two criminal homicides since the start of the new year.

The latest involved a 14-year-old boy fatally shooting a 16-year-old girl in Oakbrook last Friday, authorities said. The suspect is being charged as an adult.

The first homicide of 2021 claimed the life of a 25-year-old man on Pearl Street on Jan. 12. No arrest has been made in that fatal shooting.

The city's last homicide of 2020 came late in the year, with a 28-year-old man being fatally shot while driving a car in the area of North 12th and Buttonwood streets on Dec. 17.

Earlier this week, members of the city council called on the mayor to address the gun violence, and community members gathered Wednesday night for a discussion about their concerns.

In a written statement to 69 News on Wednesday, Moran said "the City will be taking proactive measures to establish closer working relationships with the Reading School District along with anti-violence community groups."

The mayor also said that the city will be implementing a gun buyback program.

Chief Tornielli said the city achieved a 22% decrease in serious crimes in 2020, including a 3% drop in violent crimes. He said the RPD is continuing its efforts to combat gun crimes through ongoing partnerships with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies.

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