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Belle Glade looks to curb violence after recent shootings

'One shooting is too many,' Mayor Steve Wilson says
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Posted at 5:46 PM, Nov 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-15 18:50:29-05

BELLE GLADE, Fla. — The city of Belle Glade is thinking of new ways to combat violence after two different shootings happened only a few days apart.

Some community members are working daily to make a difference.

Nearly 65 years ago, Glades Eye Care started changing lives in Belle Glade.

Mike Fliehs has taken over for his late father, fitting frames and helping give the gift of sight. He also takes pride in his hometown.

"Belle Glade is one of the best communities to be born and raised in," Fliehs said.

Mike Fliehs, Belle Glade resident
Mike Fliehs was born and raised in Belle Glade.

But over the weekend, Palm Beach County Sheriff's deputies investigated a triple shooting late Friday night in the 500 block of SE 4th St.

"It strikes you a little harder when it's just across the street in a small community, but crime is everywhere," Fliehs said.

Only a few days earlier in the same area, the sheriff’s office said another person was shot.

"Whether it's a triple shooting or a double shooting, one shooting is too many," said Mayor Steve Wilson.

As concern grows in this community, the mayor said the city is thinking outside the box on ways to curb violence.

"We're creating a lot of activities in our small community so that the kids will have things to do," Wilson said.

Mayor Steve Wilson
Mayor Steve Wilson speaks about the push to reduce violence in Belle Glade

Fliehs also helps coach football, teaching lessons on and off the field.

"You try and just show them the right and wrong ways," Fliehs said.

With the holidays ahead, the city is working to lift everyone's spirit.

Fliehs believes the future of his city is still coming into focus. "I think the best days of the Glades are still to come," he said. "Color might not matter. Religion, race, we are all people, and we're all here together to try to better ourselves and keep going forward."

The sheriff's office has made an arrest in the first shooting, and we're told these cases are likely not connected.

All four victims are expected to survive.