SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Neighbors near Wallace Avenue are voicing concerns and fears days after a gunman opened fire on police officers.
"It is rapidly declining where I don't feel safe letting my granddaughter or grandson cross the street," Sonja Thomas said of Shreveport's Caddo Heights neighborhood.
Thomas, who's lived in her home for 50 years, said the community in which she raised her family never has been so dangerous.
"It's dangerous, lots of drugs, it's just a dangerous place now."
A traffic stop Saturday led to an exchange of gunfire between a man and police officers.
After that unfolded right in front of her house, Thomas said her fears for personal safety are justified.
"You hear all about the crime that goes on in the Caddo Heights area, but you never really think it's going to come to this area."
Thomas is calling for the Caddo Heights community to unite through faith, love and compassion.
She's also challenging leaders to step up to the plate to address what she calls a dire situation.
"I don't see any more of the Malcolm X's. I don't see any more of those types of people who were driven," Thomas said.
"They weren't going to accept 'no' or 'it's not possible.' ... If they did, we wouldn't have what we have today."
Thomas is confident and optimistic that violence can be decreased throughout Shreveport, particularly in Caddo Heights.
"It's a fixable situation, but we all have to band together if we want it to be fixed," she advised.
"It won't fix itself. ... And it'll constantly get worse."