HPD discusses factors leading to week of gun violence - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

HPD discusses factors leading to week of gun violence

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Friday's shooting at the University Dr. LaQuinta Inn is the eleventh this week. Friday's shooting at the University Dr. LaQuinta Inn is the eleventh this week.
Dep. Chief Giles said the reluctance to come forward is a big reason for the rise in gun-related crimes. Dep. Chief Giles said the reluctance to come forward is a big reason for the rise in gun-related crimes.
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

Huntsville Police want to calm the public's fears following eleven shootings in the past week. Many took place in neighborhoods around North Huntsville; four people have died and six injured in the gun violence.

The string of violence began late Saturday night, when two people were shot at a home on Clifford Road during a robbery. One of the victims died from his injuries. Just a few hours later, shots were fired into an apartment on Bonnell Drive.

Monday afternoon, a man was mowing his lawn on Irondale Drive when he was shot in the foot by a passing car. Minutes later, shots were fired at a home on Monticello Drive. Later that afternoon, three separate shootings on Norwood Drive left one person injured and several bullets lodged in homes and cars.

Monday night, police found two bodies with gunshot wounds at the Reserve at Fairway Hills Apartments. The deaths appear to stem from a murder-suicide.

Early Wednesday morning, shots were fired at a home on Kyle Lane. A few hours later, two people were attacked during a drug deal and robbery on Cable Street. The shooting victim at that scene died from his injuries.

Wednesday afternoon, a man was shot and killed at the Carrington Cove Apartments in Madison during a drug deal and attempted robbery. Police arrested two suspects in that case.

Early Friday morning, three people were shot at the LaQuinta Inn on University Drive. Two are critically injured.

Several of the shootings are connected and department leaders said retaliation is a key factor.

Police said in several cases the people involved know each other. The offender in one case may be the victim in another. At this point, investigators will not say which cases may be connected, but they did say many of the shootings are drug-related and often gang-related.

When asked if drugs are a growing problem in Huntsville, police said drugs are at the root of much of the violence and definitely have a presence in the city. The department recognizes that, and is now putting a heavy emphasis on street-level interdiction.

"In July, August and September, our narcotics agents and the department made 511 drug cases, with 140 drug and gun-related arrests, and seized 39 firearms off the street," said Deputy Chief Kirk Giles.

While cracking down on lower-level drug dealers is helping the problem, police said it certainly isn't stopping it.

What are proving to be a hindrance, they said, are reluctant or uncooperative witnesses and victims who feel they can take care of a situation themselves.

"They basically say ‘I'm sorry, it's none of your businesses,' or you get a witness who says ‘I don't know what happened.' In that case, we are left facing the wall trying to figure out who did this." said Giles.

Giles said the reluctance of victims to come forward is one of the biggest reasons for the rise in gun-related crimes.

Police said they really need the community's help in coming forward with information related to this week's shooting cases and any others in the future. Getting the suspects arrested will ultimately help cut down on crime.

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