Cleaning up the 'Dirty 30's': elected officials address latest r - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Cleaning up the 'Dirty 30's': elected officials address latest round of gun violence in Savannah

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)

A corridor of streets running through the heart of Savannah - dubbed the "dirty 30's" on social media - have hosted more than a third of shootings jurisdiction-wide over the past two months. 

From East to West, 35th to 39th streets, 10 shootings with 13 victims have happened since late May, the most recent round Thursday night.

Friday, Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan police revealed details of their investigation into a triple shooting Thursday afternoon. 

Investigators say a fight ended in an exchange of gunfire, killing one man, and sending the other two to the hospital. 

Later that day, police say another shooting left a woman injured. At this point, they don't think the two violent acts are related.

The alderman over the district where the triple shooting took place, Van Johnson, says this is a conversation we're having all too often and says there's a lot of work left to be done to end gun violence.

Alderman Bill Durrence, who represents the 2nd District and a portion of the 30's, says it's going to take a continued effort of intelligence-based policing to get ahead of the disputes that all too often end in gunfire.

Alderman Johnson says policing by itself isn't the solution. New, smarter policing tactics are needed to get ahead of the kind of violence Savannah experienced Thursday.

"We've tried a variety of things as you well know," said Alderman Van Johnson, District 1. "We've tried lighting, we've tried foot patrols. I'm going to have to bring in some horses next, and bicycles and undercover officers."

Alderman Johnson is familiar with the moniker that's been given to the small portion of his district, the "dirty 30's," and says there are a number of factors that he believes contribute to the concentration of crime. 

"I think it's density, I think it's demographics, I think it's economics. I think that you'll find factors in there that contribute to violent upticks in those communities," said Alderman Van Johnson.

Johnson says that's where City and social services need to come into play, to offer more opportunities to people who might otherwise choose a life of crime. 

In Thursday's triple shooting, 23-year old Dominique Jackson was shot as well, and ultimately arrested and charged with murder and assault after being treated. 

Johnson says he believes the only way to stop shootings like this one is to get to the root issue, which in part are on-going disputes between particular groups and gangs.

"There's beef going on," said Alderman Van Johnson. "There are people who have odds against each other, and they are playing it out violently on our streets. We have to get in the middle of that, because unfortunately lives are lost, and too often innocent lives."

The other shooting on Thursday night, just blocks from the triple shooting, has not been tied to the triple shooting as of right now, according to police. Police are still looking for 

Johnson says he's going to be looking at bringing back flood lights to high crime areas. The City experimented with that a couple years ago and the alderman says it did improve safety in those areas.

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