I just read a story about a murder that happened in 2008 in Albany, the Times Union article was saying that the event changed Albany for the better. This was my first time hearing about the decade-old murder of the young girl, at the time I was living in Texas getting prepared to move to North Carolina. The story of the murder is heartbreaking and it seems like a tragedy that transpired Albany into becoming more strict on gun violence.

Kathina Thomas was a giggly ten-year-old girl who loved to dance and rider bike she was hit and killed by a stray bullet while standing outside on her family’s front step of their First Street Home in Albany. She passed away after being struck by a stray bullet.

The accidental murder took place in Albany’s West Hill. Kathina’s death forced the community to take a look at what it had become. Jermayne Timmons (15) who was only five years older than Kathina was tried and convicted of firing the shot that killed Kathina, he still remains in prison today. Not only was Kathina's death a tragedy Jermayne's life was also ruined in the process.

This is my first time hearing this tragic story but it makes me pose another question. Do you feel like Albany is safer today than it was 10 years ago? Statically there were 201 crimes committed with firearms in 2008 and in 2017 there were 121. Earlier this year a stray bullet hit a nursery school, a block away from Kathina’s old home.

Do you feel Albany is safer now than it was 10 years ago?