Community reacts to downtown La Crosse shooting - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Community reacts to downtown La Crosse shooting

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LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) - The shooting of a father and his son in May's Photo Saturday afternoon tragically took two lives and left the La Crosse community thinking about what they can do to stay safe.

Around 2 p.m. Saturday – the same time as the shooting – Ely Finucane sat in Three Rivers Outdoors, a shop across the street from May's Photos, eating his lunch.

"I didn't hear or see anything, which is kinda the scary thing," Finucane said.

Finucane is an employee of Three Rivers Outdoors. The store's window faces May's Photo.

But it wasn't until Finucane closed up shop and went home that he heard about the shooting from his girlfriend, who learned about it on Facebook.

"It was just like a regular day and then I closed up the shop at (5 p.m.) and still, nothing happened," he said.

The community now needs to take more precautions, said Seth Conway, a La Crosse resident.

"I know, even in a business setting like this (shooting happened in), that may not have always been something that people would have been afraid, of but now (they're) possibly being a little more aware," Conway said.

If it happened in a photo shop, who's to say it can't happen anywhere, he added.

The shooting of Paul and A.J. Petras marks the fourth homicide in La Crosse in 2012, which has some community members saying police are not doing enough.

"I actually think the police are slacking a little bit," said La Crosse community member Troy Stuhr. "Something this terrible happened and it's a tragedy. It's happening all over the city, though. It ain't the first one and it definitely ain't gonna be the last."

Community members said it's their responsibility to take steps to stay safe. They said this is as simple as locking apartment and car doors or making sure windows are securely shut.

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