Safety of bike path questioned after fatal Cohoes shooting

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COHOES, N.Y. (WRGB) - "If I lived along the bike trail, I'd probably have the same concerns," said Cohoes Police Chief William Heslin,

Heslin addressed safety concerns Monday about the Mohawk-Hudson bike path that runs through the city, after 17-year-old Johni Dunia was killed on the trail Friday night.

"It was very shocking and I'll tell you I locked the doors," a neighbor said.

She wants to be anonymous, but says she's lived along the trail for more than 50 years and has had her own scares.

"Quite a few years ago we were broken into so we have security measures, and I have my ringing video door bell, lots of spotlights," she explained.

She says she won't walk her dog alone on the path anymore, saying "if I'm with someone else, we'll go a little bit, but we won't go too far because you don't know what's around the corners."

Chief Heslin says they did have another homicide on the trail back in 1984.

But he says most of the calls police get there are not as violent.

"Kids go up there to drink and hang out and make noise, and we have had a few instances of crimes up there, you know assaults," Heslin said.

The Chief says the path is patrolled frequently, but admits that it is very dark at night.

"Lighting would be a benefit," he said.

The Chief says he does believe Friday's homicide is an isolated incident, and that the public is not in any danger.

He says this is the city's first homicide of the year.

For comparison, in 2018 so far Troy has had one homicide, Saratoga Springs has had one, Schenectady has had zero, and Albany has had 14 homicides, but that includes a justified officer involved shooting, and a manslaughter plea.

Chief Heslin is also reassuring residents in Cohoes, saying he is confident that police will solve this case.

"We're going to catch you and we're going to prosecute you," Heslin said.

The Albany County Executive's office says the State Office of Parks and Recreation would be responsible for installing any lighting.

CBS6 reached out to that office but did not get a response.

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