HIGH POINT, N.C. - A rash of shootings in High Point – with innocent people caught in the crossfire.
Since the last day of July, less than 10 days ago, High Point Police have seen the rise of violent crime, mainly gun violence. Four shootings happened Thursday, all inside city limits, within a few miles span, and only hours apart. The High Point Police Chief Kenneth Shultz says in many of these cases gangs are to blame.
A war zone, turf battle, gang-related violence: just some descriptions from those living in some of these neighborhoods dealing with the shootings in High Point.
“You think that maybe you got the violence under control, and then to have a level of violence that we had in the past few days is very disheartening,” said Mayor Jay Wagner.
Police listed out seven violent crimes that happened in the past 10 days, leaving three people - and an unborn child - dead. People living in these areas affected say it's senseless, and they've had enough.
“We have participated in marches, carrying sign saying stop the violence over here in this neighborhood but people ignore it. They constantly create violence,” said Martin Johnson, who lives only a few blocks from where one of the shootings happened today.
In a press conference today, Police Chief Shultz says much of the recent violence stems from two gangs in conflict with each other, and they have made arrests.
“Over past two years, and specifically this week, we have made multiple arrest of individuals that are involved on both sides of this gang activity that is taking place, and we have seized numerous weapons as a result of this as well,” he said.
But although he says the community has often been helpful, he says, sometimes the victims of violent crimes, are the people committing them.
“Unfortunately, what we are seeing now - they want street justice. They don't believe in the criminal justice system, they're not letting us do our work,” Chief Shultz said.
The High Point Officers' response moving forward: heavily patrolling in the areas that have seen violence with marked and unmarked cars to keep neighborhoods safe. Plus, investigators are working closely with the DA's office to build solid cases against many of the gang members involved.
Law enforcement continues to ask anyone with information to call police, or CrimeStoppers.
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