York City mayor speaks out after deadly shooting: “You’re going straight to Hell”

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YORK, Pa. -- A deadly shooting in York has Mayor Michael Helfrich speaking out.

The mayor has harsh words for the shooter, as seen in a video posted to the city's Facebook page.

Some may wonder what’s different about Monday’s deadly shooting on South Penn Street, compared to the 16 homicides in York last year.

It was the first homicide in York City since Michael Helfrich took office, as mayor here at City Hall and the mayor is determined to help make it the last.

Around 8:30 Monday night, two people are shot in York, one injured and the other one killed. It has become an all too familiar scene for some in the city, especially for Mayor Helfrich.

In a Facebook video, Helfrich said "what you might not have heard, and what is really disgusting, about this, is that mr. Bell was holding a one-year-old baby."

The mayor didn’t bite his tongue while giving his reaction to the deadly shooting, as he is visibly upset in the video posted on Tuesday to the city’s Facebook page.

"It’s one thing to be involved in violence, gang violence, or something like that but when you’re just randomly shooting up places, my god, you’re going straight to Hell," Helfrich said in the video.

Strong words from the mayor’s office about a violent crime that hits close to home.

"It’s in my neighborhood, a block and a half from my house. I can almost see the scene from my house. Then the other part, with me having a little two-year-old daughter and having that baby involved, that just really pushed it over the limit," Helfrich said

It’s why the new mayor is continuing support of the Group Violence Intervention (GVI) initiative.

"Our goal here is to get people out of a life that will end up putting them in prison or in a grave," Helfrich said

The GVI program helps crime victims and their families. It also reaches out to people who are at risk, targeting people with a criminal past or present to prevent them from getting involved in crime in the future," Helfrich said

"If you need job training, come to us. If you need food for your family, if you need diapers- whatever it is, come to us," Helfrich said

Calling the GVI hotline can only do so much.

"The other side is, that if you do act in a violent way, after we have made this offer, we’re going to come down twice as hard on you," Helfrich said

The Group Violence Initiative is a joint effort between York City Police and City Hall, along with York County Probation and the York County District Attorney’s office.

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