City officials in Gary, Indiana have addressed safety concerns regarding four fatal shootings that occurred earlier this week, announcing that the killings were not random acts of violence.
Four people – including two minors – were shot dead in the space of around 24 hours on October 2 and 3, raising public concern.
On Sunday, the body of April King, 50, was discovered in an abandoned house. A man with head injuries was found on the porch of the home, leading police to believe the incident was an attempted murder-suicide.
Later that day Arlandus Jackson, 37, was admitted to a local hospital with a gunshot wound. He was later pronounced dead.
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Teenagers Gary Dayvion Jones, 16, and Bobby Wright, 14, were shot and found unresponsive by authorities on Monday morning. Their deaths were ruled a homicide by the coroner’s office.
Although recent deaths have rocked the small Indiana town, city officials say none of the crimes were random, drug- or gang-related.
“We believe [the teens] were killed together at the same time. Officers have very good leads in this case,” Gary Police Chief Brian Evans said at a press conference Tuesday.
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Gary Mayor Jerome Prince also assured the public that officials are prioritizing public safety in Gary, which is about 30 miles south of Chicago.
“I mean it’s not Gary. It’s definitely not who we are,” Prince told reporters.
“We are doing everything in our effort to make sure this is a safe city, understanding that ‘safe’ is all about perspective,” the Democratic mayor added.
There have been 52 homicides in Gary so far in 2022, a 44% increase from October 2021.
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The Gary Police Department and Metro Homicide Division are investigating the murders, alongside federal and local officials.
Authorities are asking anyone with information to contact the Gary/Lake County Metro Homicide Unit at 219-755-3855.