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Arrest releases grip of fear

October 10, 2019 05:42 pm

There’s some reassurance in knowing that a person suspected in a deadly shooting more than two years ago has been arrested and charged.

In those hot summer days of 2017, seven shootings left two toddlers and four adults wounded — and one young man dead. The five-month series of eye-for-an-eye shootings shook the city of Hudson to its core and held neighborhoods in the vicinity of State Street and Columbia Street in a grip of fear.

Christian Simmons, 22, of the Bronx, was charged Wednesday with second-degree murder in the shooting death of Kevin Whitening, 31, of New York City, on Aug. 22, 2017. Simmons’ attorney, Ian Crimmins, entered a plea of not guilty.

The shootings made news in Greene County, the Capital Region and the entire state. It was a long, hot summer for sure.

Simmons was arrested in New York City by the New York and New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force.

Hudson police spent more than two years on the investigation. Detective Sgt. Jason Finn and Detective Nick Pierro were relentless, Hudson Police Chief L. Edward Moore said.

All who helped take Simmons into custody are deserving of commendation: State police; Columbia County District Attorney Paul Czajka and his office; Hudson police; Sheriff David Bartlett; and all the men and women from the state and federal agencies.

Of course, we are not judge and jury. Simmons is innocent until proven guilty. But Kevin Whitening’s family thinks some type of closure is at hand.

“I am just happy everything is falling into place,” Kevin’s mother, Tracy Whitening, said Wednesday. “It’s been a long two years. And I know it’s going to be a journey, but my son can rest now peacefully.”

And, we hope, so can the people of Hudson.