Shreveport police chief calls on community to stop recent violence

Local News

SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Three men are dead following three shootings Tuesday night that took place in a span of about three hours across Shreveport.

Those deaths bring the total number of homicides so far in 2020 to nine. City leaders say that’s nine lives too many.

Police Chief Ben Raymond said after Shreveport experienced an historic low in violent crime in 2019, right now those numbers are nearly double what they were at this time last year.

“It’s unacceptble for us to have that level of violence in such a short period of time,” said Raymond.

Raymond said the community needs to step up to stop the violence.

“This can not be done by police alone,” he said. “It’s going to take community involvement to strongly discourage it, that type of activity. And then to report it, and give us information, so that we can quickly make arrests.”

Raymond said he’s seeing a concerning trend: the age of victims and suspects is going down, while the number of violent crimes is going up.

“What happened in those formative years of elementary school or junior high, high school?” said Raymond. “Where are we missing the boat? Exactly where are we losing these kids and they begin to think that violence is the answer at such a young age?”

The impact of violent crimes is far-reaching for the families of all involved.

“This should not happen to anyone,” said Sherilla Hodge. “No one should feel this. Nobody should go through this. It’s not fair.”

Hodge’s son, 20-year-old Javarcya Smith was found shot and lying left to die in Stoner Hill Tuesday night.

Mayor Adrian Perkins said community policing initiatives are having an impact on the crime rate.

“One violent night does not characterize the safety of this city,” said Perkins.

But one violent night is all it takes to change a family forever.

“It’s just so senseless,” said Hodge. “And we don’t understand.”

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