Police chief: Recent rash of shootings gang-related
JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Following a weekend of shootings that sent multiple people to the hospital, Jonesboro Mayor Harold Copenhaver assured residents the shootings are related and not just random crimes.
During Tuesday’s news conference, Chief of Police Rick Elliott said there was a “correlation between these shootings and gang activity.”
“The shootings this week involve one group of people trying to settle their disputes with gunplay,” Elliott said.
When asked if the shootings were connected to the Nov. 17 death of rapper Young Dolph in Memphis, the chief said there is no substantial information that connects the two.
“Rumors get running rampant pretty quick and that’s nothing we can substantiate at this time,” he said. “It’s an ongoing saga between a couple of groups here in town.”
He added the incident in Memphis was “unfortunate,” but has nothing to do with what is happening in Jonesboro.
Elliott urged witnesses to step forward and provide information that will help solve these recent shootings.
Despite the recent uptick in gun violence, the mayor’s office said crime statistics “remain consistent year to year.”
“Violent crime in Jonesboro has not changed much per capita,” Copenhaver was quoted as saying. “That said, if you are the victim of a crime, statistics don’t matter. I don’t want people to be afraid, and times like this are frustrating because Jonesboro is and will continue to be a safe city for law-abiding residents. It will also be a bad place for people who want to commit crime.”
According to a Tuesday news release, gunshot incidents in 2021 total 67. Last year at this time, it was 47, which the city attributed to the pandemic.
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