Taking illegal guns off the streets, targeting repeat offenders and focusing on the city’s hot spots are among the tactics officers hope to employ to stem a tide of violence which has led to 22 homicides in 2017, the chief of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said Wednesday.
By comparison, Raleigh has reported two homicides in 2017, while Durham has reported five.
“The trend is, we keep seeing some of these small conflicts escalate,” Putney said at the department’s weekly briefing, which came barely 24 hours after investigators reported the body of a 29-year-old man was found on the city’s north side. “What we’re trying to do is be proactive so we can keep this lack of conflict resolution that leads to violence from occurring in the first place.”
Ultimately, Putney said the goal is to prevent violence from being an option to resolve conflicts.
“What we’re going to do is continue to analyze those who have escalated their violence in the past, trying to prevent some of these tragic outcomes,” he said. “That will be our strategy, especially as the warm weather hits.”
Of the city’s 22 homicides so far this year, 15 were by guns and five involved knives. Two homicides resulted from physical confrontation, Capt. Cecil Brisbon said. Of the victims, 16 were African-Americans, Brisbon said, adding that there have been arrests in 15 of the cases.
In the latest incident, authorities say police officers responding to a call found a man lying close to the street with an apparent gunshot wound. The man, identified as Laymon A. Moore, was pronounced dead at the scene.
According to police, an initial investigation showed the victim was walking on a street across from a park when a vehicle drove up beside him. Investigators say the suspects argued with the victim. The argument escalated and the suspects then shot the victim before leaving the scene. As of Wednesday, there had been no arrests in the case.