The latest homicide in Harrisburg—a man fatally stabbing his cousin—is not all that shocking, according to Dauphin County Coroner Graham Hetrick.
“The vast majority of homicides are caused by individuals that are known to the deceased,” said Hetrick.
Hetrick says it seems to him that over-reactive senseless violence like this is on the rise—people killing each other because someone looked at them the wrong way or said the wrong thing.
“This whole thing goes back to how we value life and how we resolve differences.”
Ironically the stabbing death of Stevie Everson came at the time when Hetrick and other civic leaders were at a stop-the-violence event.
“I can understand shouting matches between family members,” said Hetrick. “But when you get to this point, it just doesn't make sense.”
State Representative Patty Kim of Harrisburg was encouraged by what many residents have said about how to stop all this violence. And it wasn't a case of blaming the lack of sufficient police patrolling the streets.
“They said it has to start with us…the mothers, the grandmothers and the fathers,” Kim told us. “It was a very honest discussion. We can't depend on other people to keep us safe. We have to start at home and have to be better parents toward our kids and raise them up the right way.”
But Kim says it's not going to be a fast fix. She says we have to talk about our values, how to love each other and how to be a good neighbor.
“I think it took a generation to get us to this breaking point,” she said. “It is bad out there. I think when people fight they don't talk it out. They bring out their guns and shoot each other.”