Neighbors react to the homicide on Cole Avenue

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- A man is killed in an afternoon shooting on Rockford’s Southwest side. Neighbors say they are shocked because this is a rare occurrence in this area.

"Everybody says why in the world would you go to Rockford," says Rockford resident, Bernadine Thrist.

Bernadine Thrist moved to Rockford from New York and lives just a few houses down from where the 16th homicide in the city took place this afternoon.

"I was in the house when things were happening out here, I didn't know that was going on," says Thrist.

A 27-year-old man was shot to death in the 300 block of Cole Avenue right around 1:30 in broad daylight.

Thrist says, "That doesn't happen over here often, no. This is probably the second time and I’ve been here 60 years or more."

Thirst says this shooting is a surprise to the whole neighborhood, “It’s a nice neighborhood. I really liked it over here when I first moved over here, but of course I thank God for what I have now.”

She says she's not going to let this shooting make her move. She explains, "My husband and my son passed away, so it's just me and I just feel like I’m supposed to stay here because they passed already, so just me myself and I."

Thrist says she feels sorry for the man and his family, “I just asked God to keep his arm around us,” but as for Thrist, she's not moving anywhere,"So I’m here and I like what's here because I know I’ll be here for a long time.”

The name of the man has not yet been released. Police are reportedly looking for several witnesses who left the scene right after the shooting.