DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Police are decrying gun violence in Detroit after two dozen shootings over the weekend, including gunfire at a neighborhood barbecue that killed one person and injured 11, and two incidents in the Greektown entertainment district — considered one of the safest areas of the city.
The shootings occurred during one of Detroit’s busiest weekends, just before a popular fireworks show that was expected to draw hundreds of thousands of people to the city’s riverfront.READ MORE: Michigan Matters: Helping Young Folks & Cancer Patients
“Certainly 24 shootings — non-fatal mostly— over the weekend is too many,” Police Chief James Craig told reporters as dozens of officers mustered ahead of their assignments for Monday night’s fireworks over the Detroit River (set to go off an hour early, at 9:06 p.m., due to weather concerns).
As of Monday, no arrests had been made in two unrelated shootings in downtown’s Greektown, home to many restaurants and one of the city’s three casinos.
One man was found slain in an alley shortly before midnight Monday. Another was found wounded nearby. Two guns also were found, and investigators believe a fight may have led to that shooting.
Separately, a young woman was hospitalized after being shot twice in Greektown Saturday night.
“I’m disappointed; I mean, certainly we haven’t seen that in the recent past,” Craig said, of shootings in Greektown. “But I’m concerned whenever there’s a shooting in any neighborhood in Detroit. Greektown is a neighborhood, like Southwest Detroit.”
“Whether it’s a shooting in Greektown or a shooting in an eastside, southwest, westside neighborhood, it’s just too much. We shouldn’t have to deal with the issue of young people bringing guns into downtown or into any place in the city,” Craig said.
Craig said he’s confident responsible will be brought to justice.READ MORE: Meet These Two Bear Cubs Who Have Become Inseparable At The Detroit Zoo
“So, the good news is we being we’re going to bring some closure,” he said. “If someone makes a bad decision to get involved in a conflict and they have a gun…we’re gonna find out who you are.”
Police officials were planning a community meeting Tuesday evening with residents to discuss the shootings at a block party Saturday. One man was killed and 11 were wounded at the barbecue attended by about 300 people.
The man who died, Malik Jones, 19, was believed to be the target of two gunmen who fired into the crowd. Jones had been shot and wounded recently and Saturday’s exchange of gunfire was believed to be retaliatory.
Craig has said residents have been reluctant to cooperate with police, with witnesses apparently concerned that they may put themselves at risk.
“I mean, when you talk about 12 people shot — one of the biggest shooting incidents that we’ve seen, at least during my tenure: one fatal, four still in the hospital being treated, children, families…Imagine a scene like that, and then nobody sees anything,” Craig said. “And then I had to take a step back, and say, well this a community that feels, in some way, that they’re powerless.”
Craig on Saturday referred to the block party incident as an “act of urban terrorism.”
He said the Detroit Police Department is “looking for solutions, certainly encouraging the public to step up so that we can avoid these things in the future.”MORE NEWS: Delta Wants Other Airlines To Share ‘No-Fly’ Lists To Help Stop Unruly Passengers
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