‘It’s really not safe to live here:’ Westlake Village Apartment tenants speak out against high crime impacting their homes

KMSB News 9-10 p.m. recurring
Published: Jul. 15, 2022 at 10:15 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - An apartment on Tucson’s southside surrounded by crime. Residents of the Westlake Village Apartments are fearing for their safety.

″It just feels like it’s always something. It’s really not safe to live here. I don’t feel that this is any kind of environment anybody should live in,” Westlake Village Apartment tenant and mother Kaitlin Ibison said.

Shootings, break ins, gang activity, and drug use are just a few of the things people living at the Westlake Village Apartments have told me about.

Several families were woken up Friday morning and told they had to evacuate after Jerome Encinas barricaded himself in one of the apartments.

Ibison says, “The officer came up and told us, you know, we got to go. We’ve got to move from the area. That they can’t promise that there’s not going to be a shootout. That whoever was inside the apartment has a gun.”

Police surrounded her apartment complex and told her to leave her home for her and her children’s safety. This isn’t the first time she’s encountered crime here. There was also a shooting just outside her building.

″I heard the shots and I immediately had to grab my children and run to the back room, you know just because it was right outside here. My downstairs neighbors heard it. Their children, they were absolutely horrified,” she said.

Despite being a gated apartment, I’m told no one feels safe and there’s more than just gun violence that’s making people fearful.

“There’s addicts everywhere, especially right here behind us. That’s where a lot of them go and they smoke and they do whatever they’re doing in the corner. They break into apartments,” she said.

Ibison and her family are planning to leave as soon as they can. Other families here say they’re extremely worried about the safety of their children.

“It scares me. I regret it. I don’t let her come out and play anymore. You don’t know what’s going to happen,” tenant Dylan Baile said.

He believes there needs to be a stronger police presence in the whole area.

“We witnessed a guy pretty much get attacked by a machete, heard a couple gunshots, seen a couple people got killed here. This morning the SWAT team was here and had it all blocked off. It’s pretty bad,” he said.

He thinks the apartment manager is doing all they can to try and make things better here, but it’s just too much.

We reached out to the management for a statement, but have not heard back.

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