The Fort Leonard Woods community in southern Ontario is experiencing its worst year-to-date of violence in decades.
In the past five months, police have shot, killed and wounded nine people, with more than a dozen more victims in custody.
Police say they’re dealing with a community with little understanding of what it means to live in a police jurisdiction.
“We have no control over our neighbourhood,” said local resident Alex Wood.
Wood, who is from nearby Fort Leonard, says Fort Leonard’s community was rocked by the shooting death of a 16-year-old boy who was walking home from school.
“There were a lot of people that had lost a parent or two,” said Wood.
“That was a very difficult time.”
It’s a very quiet community, a very nice neighbourhood,” he said.
Wood’s neighbourhood is a small one, about 500 residents, with many of the houses made out of wood, with no visible signs of previous disturbances.
The community is not on the police radar, with residents unaware that the area is a police priority area.”
People have been living in their homes for many, many years and there’s not a police officer there,” Wood said.
He said there are also fears the community could be targeted by the government for more gun control measures.”
I know that a lot has been done to try to protect us, but if we go back and say what we were doing back then, there’s nothing left to protect,” Wood added.”
If you’re going to put that on us, it’s not going to be our property, it won’t be our house.
It’s not our property.
“In Fort Leonard wood, the shooting deaths of two teens in December and January has added to the community’s anxieties.”
Our house is on the list of targets for the gun registry, so it’s pretty concerning, that’s all,” Wood told CBC News.
In February, a 14-year old boy was shot and killed at his home.
The police investigation into the death is still ongoing, but police say the boy was “targeted and armed”.
In March, a 15-year veteran of the Fort Leonard Police was shot dead by an off-duty officer in Fort Leonard, a small town about 40 kilometres south of Fort Leonard.
In August, an 18-year police veteran was shot in the back while he sat at a bus stop.
Fort Leonard police say both officers are “expected to recover”.
Fort Leonard residents are also concerned about the future of their neighbourhoods.”
My community is still in shock because of what’s happened and how many times we’ve had gun violence,” said resident Lisa Hargreaves.”
You never know who’s going to come to your door or what they’re going do to you.
“The Fort Leonard Homes community has been under a curfew since July.
The curfew is supposed to keep the neighbourhood safe, but for some residents, the threat of gun violence is becoming more prevalent.”
The police have been shooting people in the head with their weapons,” said Hargrey.”
They’ve killed people.
They’re not going away.
I think we’re going down that road now.
“What we need is for them to put down the guns and move on,” Hargreeks said.
Hargreaver said Fort Leonard is facing the same threat as the neighbouring communities in the neighbouring towns of Horseshoe Bay and Horsham, which have been under lockdown since the summer of 2018.
“In Fort Leontard, we’re facing a lot more gun violence and that’s a problem,” Hager said.
Fort Leonard is located in the southern part of the province and has a population of about 1,600 people.
In Horshed Bay, about 1.5 million people live in about 600 housing units.
Hager said the community has a lot to be proud of.
“This community has made the best of it.
It has been resilient.
We’re all going to take our time and move forward,” she said.