Montgomery Says Shootings Result Of Organized Groups

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By Lisa Blackwell

Montgomery Police say the Island Lounge shooting is related to at least three other shootings in Montgomery.

Authorities stopped short of calling them gang related incidents but do say they are a result of trouble between loosely organized groups.

Montgomery Police and city officials say the Island Club Shooting, the Oak Park shooting, the Gibbs Village shooting and the shooting near the Cramton Bowl are all connected by an ongoing rivalry between two rap groups: the Fam Boiz and the Crescent Road Heroz.

Police Chief Kevin Murphy says in each incident, specific individuals were targeted which resulted in innocent bystanders getting hurt or killed.

Chief Kevin Murphy, Montogmery Police, says, "I want to emphasize this to our citizens that they have every reason to feel safe these are not random acts where people where people are just going out and indiscriminately shooting into the crowd he was looking for somebody he found that person he opened fire."

In the August 30th shooting at Gibbs village 18-year-old Deswana Gregory was shot to death. A 31-year-old woman and her 14-year-old son also were injured. The September 24 shooting at Oak Park injured nine people. On October 15 gunfire near the Cramton Bowl injured one person. Public Safety Director Chris Murphy says crimes like these are a problem across the US.

Chris Murphy, Director, Montgomery Public Safety, says "This is a phenomenon that we are seeing across the nation this is not unique to Montogmery there is academic study about this there are other cities that are having to deal with this and are dealing with it very effectively."

Cities, like Milwaukee, Wisconsin, have developed a task force for proactively reducing violence. The Milwaukee Homicide Review Commission is comprised of multiple agencies and community service providers that exchange information to reduce crime. As a result of the task force’s efforts, Milwaukee’s crime is down 52 percent. Montgomery officials will be sending a team of individuals to train in this methodology.

" It is a very comprehensive program it focuses on domestic violence it focuses on social issues that the mayor was speaking about it focuses on gun related crime and the statistics, the data, the methodology is very encouraging, said Chief Murphy.

Officials say they will develop a task force in Montgomery to head off this type of crime in the future.

Mayor Todd Strange says in spite of the recent shootings, as of October, violent crime is down 13 percent from last year and last year it was down 15 percent from the year before. Strange says if the current crime trend continues through the end of December, Montgomery will have the lowest crime rate in the history of the city.

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