SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The Savannah Police Department has been handling a lot of shootings lately. Since Sept. 1, police have handled about 44 incidents involving guns. 29 of those involve people being shot at, injured, or killed.
Chief Roy Minter said his crews are working diligently around the clock to investigate incidents and protect the community.
“We’re seeing a very troubling trend that we’ve been seeing for quite some time and that is access to weapons by people who probably shouldn’t have access to those weapons because they are accessing those weapons for the most part for criminal means and then very poor decision making. You put the two of those together and you end up with some very tragic situations,” Chief Minter said.
Chief Minter says it is concerning as they strive for a safe community, but he trusts his officers who are responding quickly, thoroughly investigating and making arrests.
“We continue to look and see if there is a nexus in these shootings between the things that we’ve talked about for quite some time: gangs, guns and drugs. We’re continuing to work hard on that. Some of the things that we’re doing is we’re looking at kind of a three pronged approach to this: prevention, intervention, and enforcement. When we are talking about prevention and intervention we’re talking about increasing employment opportunities for people in our community, we’re also looking at mentoring programs, recreational programs, but when we’re looking at enforcement which we’ve already started you know we’re looking at things that we can do as a department to go out an address some of the violent crime,” Chief Minter said.
The chief said their strategic investigation unit has collected more than 100 weapons off the street, made nearly 300 felony arrests and more. He says they are working with CNT, U.S. Marshals and CrimeStoppers to address some of the challenges, but we all have a role to play, too.
“We’re not going to arrest ourselves out of a violent crime problem no community ever has, but if we can continue to come together as a community and we’re really seeing some great cooperation lately from our community members. They are just as fed up about what’s going on in the community as we are,” Chief Minter said.
The chief was asked if he feels school being virtual at the moment plays a role in how many teens have been involved in cases lately. He said they are always looking at what factors may be contributing to the crime.
In the meantime, he really encourages you to call police and let them know if something is suspicious, or you have information, because even the smallest details can prove helpful when it comes to these violent incidents.
WTOC requested the locations of the shootings reported to the Savannah Police Department since Sept. 1.
On the left side of your screen, you can see a cluster of shootings reported in these Westside neighborhoods. And on your right, in these Eastside neighborhoods
We’ve highlighted in yellow the locations of where four people were shot and later died from their injuries.
One of those victims was 57-year-old Cliff Rouse. He was shot on Oct. 5. Police say he was caught in the crossfire and not involved in the shooting at East 39th and Ash streets.
On some days, Savannah Police have responded to multiple reports of shootings.
In the past week, four people have been shot, including 16-year-old Corey Aderly who died Monday after being shot on South Parkwood Drive.