DECATUR — Detectives say they are working intensely to protect the public and solve a spate of shootings in Decatur that left one man wounded.
Police on Sunday had to respond to five separate instances of gunfire on city streets that began at 2:15 p.m. and ended about 8:20 p.m. In the third incident, at 6:48 p.m. on North Union Street, a 21-year-old man was hit in the lower leg and suffered a wound police said was not life-threatening.
But Deputy Police Chief David Dickerson, head of criminal investigations, is worried someone else could suffer more serious injuries in what he described as a dispute being fought out on the streets between a group of individuals. He said several of the shooting incidents were related but would not say all of them had the same connection.
“Protecting the public is absolutely our priority, and this is an ongoing dispute between these individuals that unfortunately puts the public in harm’s way and we’re just not going to stand for it,” he added.
He said a team of detectives working the cases has been bolstered by extra patrol officers assigned to protect neighborhoods. He said other specialists from the Decatur Police Anti-Crime Team were being deployed to work the crimes and, without offering specifics, Dickerson said they “specialize in targeting incidents” like Sunday’s rash of shootings.
“This is not something where we’re just sitting idly by waiting for something else to happen,” Dickerson said. “I can assure you we have personnel out there … trying to prevent any further shooting.”
The first reports of Sunday’s gunfire were called in at 2:15 p.m. and involved a shooting in the 1300 block of North Union Street. That was followed by gunfire at 6:07 p.m. in the 1100 block of East Walnut Street, and then the 21-year-old was shot at 6:48 p.m. in the 1200 block of North Union. A 37-year-old woman reported another shooting at 7:45 p.m. in the 1300 block of East Lawrence Street, and the final incidence of gunfire happened about 8:20 p.m. in the 1400 block of Huron Street.
Police reported no arrests had been made by Monday afternoon, but said they had several leads.
“I would say we do know some of the players involved, and we will obviously be keeping an eye on them and making arrests where we possibly can,” Dickerson said.
Anyone with information can call CrimeStoppers at (217) 423-8477 or go to www.decaturcrimstoppers.