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Residents Demand Increased Security Inside NYCHA Buildings

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A violent killing in a New York City Housing Authority building in Brooklyn has prompted resident leaders to demand increased security, which they say could have saved a life.

One week, ago 83-year-old Jacolia James was beaten to death inside her apartment at the Carter G. Woodson Houses in Brownsville.

James' killer is still on the loose.

Web Extra: Calls For Changes After 83-Year-Old Woman Killed Inside NYCA Apartment:

On Wednesday, her children and other family and friends were at the NYCHA housing complex calling for tougher security for the building, security they feel could have saved James' life, CBS2's Hazel Sanchez reported.

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Tenants said right now there is only a security guard that works from 5 p.m. until midnight and no security cameras. They want NYCHA to step up with around-the-clock security guards and cameras.

"We're putting out a voice out here now so that they can hear that," daughter Lynda James said. "Hopefully, something will be done by that. That's my purpose. My purpose is to make sure my mom's death serves a purpose."

Tenants said they are definitely in agreement with Lynda James.

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"We need security bad. On my floor, someone came in, a foreigner. He got mixed up and he was kicking on my door. I had to call 911," 89-year-old tenant Delores Dalton said. "I got the imprints of his feet on my door now. They said, 'Don't open the door.' I said, 'Of course I won't.' But I had a 2 by 4, honey, waiting for him when he came in. You gotta protect yourself."

Community Calls For Action:

Safety concerns are so high, community members are stepping in to patrol around the Carter G. Woodson Houses until NYCHA makes changes. Members of the social group "Man Up Inc." say they'll make rounds daily to protect the vulnerable residents. As for the housing authority's efforts? No one responded to CBS2's multiple requests for an interview.

"It's like we're just forgotten, and I can't accept that," tenant president Diane Johnson said.

In a statement released by NYCHA on Wednesday night, the agency said: "We were deeply saddened to learn of this abominable crime against one of our senior residents. Our hearts go out to Ms. James' family and friends. We will continue to work with our elected, agency and community partners to enhance and ensure the safety of our residents."

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