Rock County community reacts to recent string of deadly violence in Beloit
BELOIT, Wis. — If the past week’s violence in Beloit isn’t a wake-up call, Pastor Dennis Roser doesn’t know what is.
Between Wednesday and Saturday, three people were killed in separate incidents in the city. On Wednesday, a woman was found shot in the 1400 block of Madison Road; she later died from her injuries.
Saturday morning, a 42-year-old Janesville woman was fatally stabbed on the city’s south side, and later that night, a 19-year-old man died after being shot outside Beloit Memorial High School just after a basketball game ended.
“We live in a society that doesn’t get that. We live in a society that objectifies people. Looks to people as the enemy and because they are the enemy because they are the villain, they can be expended,” Roser said.
Roser, who is the lead pastor at Beloit’s Saint John’s Lutheran Church, is calling on his congregation to come together in the wake of the violence. Each day for the next 30 days, Roser is asking his congregation to set an alarm for 7 p.m. to pray for their city, for those affected and for our society as a whole.
“These three tragedies right in a string don’t do much to favor the image of Beloit, but I would say Beloit is very misunderstood, very misrepresented,” he said.
The ripple effect doesn’t stop at city lines. In Janesville, police said what’s happening in Beloit is triggering a preventative response on their end.
“In monitoring all of this activity, we decided to work with the school district to increase the amount of patrol presence at the home sporting events,” Janesville Police Chief Deputy Chad Pearson said.
That added police presence will remain in place at all Janesville high school home sporting events for the rest of this school year.
Janesville Police Chief Dave Moore believes this move will help bring peace of mind — and safety — to the city.
“We have the deepest respect for Beloit PD and the Beloit community and we could have easily been situated as Beloit is, and we just think this is a wise move for our community,” Moore said.
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