Gun violence times three

Gun violence times three

West Memphis police investigating trio of drive- by shootings

Three drive by shootings over the weekend left three wounded in West Memphis. At least two of the incidents have one common denominator, with witnesses at two different scenes providing descriptions of similar vehicles.

Enforcement/Criminal Investigation Division Commander for the West Memphis Police Department Capt. Joe Baker said the police need help from the public in developing leads as they investigate these cases.

Sunday evening, shots rang out at an address police called a problem spot in the 500 block of Birch.

“Two individuals were standing in a carport when a vehicle drove by the residence,” said Baker. “Shots fired from a car struck one individual in the left forearm and the other in the left leg. They were transported in non-critical condition.”

While Baker offered limited details of the report, as it involved juveniles, he said witness statements conflicted, adding a layer of confusion for police investigators to work through.

“Everyone on that scene — they have been fairly uncooperative with police on the investigation,” said Baker. “They've muddied the water on the possible color of the vehicles with conflicting statements. But we can say it was possibly a Chevy Malibu.”

Later that same evening, another drive by shooting occurred in the 600 block of South Redding.

“We responded to a shots fired call,” said Baker. “We found holes in the house, shell casings in the street and in the driveway, so there was some shooting back and forth. People at the house said someone drove by and shot at the house, but our officers found shell casings in the driveway which could not have been from the street.”

The weekend shootings started Friday with a 49year-old male wounded in the right calf at 17th Street and Polk. The victim claimed to have been caught in the crossfire as shots were fired from vehicle to vehicle.

“He stated he was driving when a Chevy Malibu began shooting at a white SUV,” said Baker.

Police noted common vehicle descriptions of the Malibu and the white SUV in more than one shooting this weekend, but have not developed definite links between the separate scenes.

Baker said police need information from the public to further develop their investigations.

“We have not linked these as they are only possible vehicle descriptions,” said Baker. “We have up to $2,000 through Crimes Stoppers for information leading to arrests in these cases.”

Anyone with information about these or other cases is urged to call Crittenden County Crime Stoppers at (870) 732-4444 anytime day or night. All calls are confidential.

By John Rech