St. Joseph police are looking for suspects in the cases of five different shootings that have left two people dead since Nov. 5.
A total of six people have been shot in the five incidents. St. Joseph Police Department Commander Eric Protzman has responded to some of the incidents and said the cases appear to share the similarity of the victims knowing their alleged shooters in some way.
“It’s always a targeted situation where they shoot up a house, shoot up someone’s car or shoot someone. They know that individual, they have a difference with that individual and they settle it in a wrong manner,” he said. “They’re acquaintances or have been acquaintances. It’s not good, but the public as a whole shouldn’t be afraid to go out of their home and go down the street, go down to the store.”
The first shooting in a string of recent violent incidents happened on Nov. 5, when Fredie Allen was fatally shot near 23rd and Union streets. There is a person of interest in the case, but no charges have been filed.
Three days later, a teenager and a 20-year-old were shot in the feet while leaving Dollar General near 17th and Messanie streets. Police said the shooter was waiting for them in the parking lot and they do have a person of interest, but no charges have been filed.
On Nov. 11, 17-year-old Chance Kelley was shot at Oakridge Apartments, 1205 Angelique St., and he later died from his injuries. Police have a person of interest in that case as well, but no charges have been filed.
Police said none of the situations are related to each other.
Two other individuals suffered gunshot wounds in separate incidents. In one on Nov. 13, a shooting was reported in the 2600 block of Messanie Street but the victim had traveled about 1.5 miles to 11th and Faraon streets. On Nov. 18, another person was shot near the 1400 block of South 16th Street. St. Joseph Police Department Capt. Jeff Wilson said officers do not have suspects in these incidents but added neither was a random event.
Protzman said no matter the circumstances around any incidents, the shootings are tragic and unnecessary.
“The attitude towards violence and guns as society is not necessarily going in the direction it needs to be. I think that’s part of how people look at each other, lack of compassion,” he said.
Wilson also said these incidents show a concerning trend of gun violence.
“We’re experiencing a time, unfortunately, where people decide to resolve issues with firearms instead of other means,” he said. “And I think that goes back to society, and we need to start helping people to understand that that is not the way to solve our problems.”
Protzman encouraged anyone who has information on any of the shootings to contact the police.