SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The City of Shreveport is experiencing an alarming jump in homicides, many involving young people.
Chief Ben Raymond calls the violence unacceptable.
“A child can not be responsible for violent crimes and certainly can’t be to blame for violent crime. It is unacceptable for them to be caught in the crossfire. Confrontation is leading to innocent people being struck especially our children.”
Last Friday, a two year old was a victim of this violence.
2020 has already seen 48 homicides in Shreveport. A 72 percent jump from last year.
“I don’t think the majority of our violence is random in nature and that I need to be afraid to go to the store or walk around my block. I think a lot of it is targeted.”
However in some cases, Mayor Adrian Perkins explains unintended targets are caught in the crossfire.
“Anytime even if it’s targeted. Anytime a firearm is expelled then that bullet has potential to hurt somebody that had nothing to do with it.”
Chief Raymond says new gang activity is contributing to some of the violence.
“No doubt that a number of these shootings can be attributed to these young groups that are having a rift with another group of individuals. Someone gets injured, someone gets shot then you have this retaliatory shooting, going back and forth.”
He believes the gang element makes these cases difficult to investigate.
“When our investigators, when they roll up to the scene you get comments like I don’t know who shot me or why they shot me. I don’t want to pursue charges if you find out who does it. That’s an indication that, that individual or that group is going to take the incident in their own hands, which means it’s going to lead to more violence. We got to cut that off.”
Wednesday night on KTAL/KMSS Perkins and Raymond break down initiatives to fight crime and tackle the shortage of officers.