In today's blog, I am providing an excerpt of an email that was sent to the Mayor and all alders regarding a rash of violent crimes that occurred on the night of Monday, April 24th.
I have been attempting to sound the alarm of the progressively disturbing trends we are experiencing with guns, armed robberies, drug overdoses, and gangs for a long time. This is a snapshot of our reality, Madison. Take a look at what occurred over the course of only 5-hours. And then note that year-to-date, we have 48 "shots fired" incidents and 64 robberies. We must be willing to take affirmative steps to properly prevent and investigate crimes against our community. No one is more supportive of the long-term, social service initiatives that are required to deal with the deep-rooted concerns that may lead to the desperate acts of desperate people. But we must also continue to keep pace with the necessary resources needed to prevent or diminish crimes of violence against our community.
Below is the email I sent to the Mayor and all alders early this afternoon -
Mr. Mayor and All Alders:
I am providing you with a timely synopsis of a series of compelling crimes which occurred last night in our City. Within a five hour window of time (Monday from 8:26pm to Tuesday 1:10a), MPD officers responded to an unprecedented number of very violent and dangerous calls for service. It is too early to be able to establish a causal connection between each case. However, anecdotally, I cannot recall a time in my career at MPD when there were this many weapons offenses and armed robberies occurring in such rapid succession throughout our City.
These are disturbing cases where individuals are shooting recklessly and putting innocent people in harm's way. In one incident, a 6 yr old child was watching television in her home when a stray bullet entered. Additionally, we had two armed robberies where one victim was pistol whipped and another victim threatened with a gun, both in predominantly residential neighborhoods. As you may recall, these events are in close proximity to several robberies of food delivery drivers and two carjacking's which occurred last week.
I am sure that many citizens are likely to contact you expressing their concerns, asking questions and expecting answers. We have been overwhelmed with media inquiries given the volume and seriousness of these various crimes. It is for this reason that we will be conducting a press conference at 2:30 (Tuesday) today. I can assure you that we are using all available resources to investigate each and every incident to the best of our ability. Below you will find the case summaries that I am referring to which are taken directly from our website:
1- Weapons Violation 04/24/2017 - 8:26 PM
5800 block Russett Rd.
A six-year-old girl was nearly hit by a random bullet as she sat inside her Russett Rd. apartment watching TV around 8:30 p.m. last night. The round came through a front bay window and was among several shots that were fired outside of the girl's home. It does not appear her residence was the intended target as a witness saw a gunman firing at a moving car. The suspect had been in a parking lot where officers later recovered multiple shell casings. The six-year-old was among several children inside the apartment that was hit. Her mother told responding officers: "They could have shot my baby ... Madison did not used to be like this and it just keeps getting worse."
2- Weapons Violation 04/24/2017 - 8:45 PM
4501 Verona Rd. (parking lot BP gas station)
Male, age 27, Belleville
A man with a head wound showed up at the MPD's South District around 8:45 p.m. last night. The 27-year-old told officers he was shot at while pulling into a BP gas station, 4501 Verona Rd. There was a hole in his rear car window that likely was caused by a bullet. It was not clear if flying glass, a bullet fragment, or something else caused his cut. He was taken to a hospital for treatment. The victim told police a man in another car had shot at him. Detectives believe he was specifically targeted and that this was not a random act of violence.
3- Weapons violation: On 04/24/2017 - 9:47 PM
500 block Northport Dr.
Several concerned people called 911 after hearing gunshots in the 500 block of Northport Dr. last night. Area residents heard four or five reports. Responding officers could not immediately find shell casings or other evidence. There were no reports of injuries.
4- Robbery- On 04/24/2017 - 10:45 PM
Male, age 27, Madison
A man returning to his Island Drive apartment last night was pistol whipped and robbed by two men that he encountered at the entryway to his building. The 27-year-old said one was armed with a handgun and that he struggled with this man. The victim was struck multiple times in the head and later transported by ambulance to a hospital. His keys and other personal items were taken by the robbers. A neighbor saw the men running from the scene and believes they got into a getaway car. The victim said his assailants were strangers, and that he had not seen them in the area before.
5- Weapons Violation 04/24/2017 - 11:47 PM
2900 block Turbot Dr.
There were residents sleeping inside two Turbot Drive apartment buildings last night when gun shots rang out. Four bullets hit one building. One bullet hit another building. Fortunately, there were no reported injuries.
Multiple citizens called 911, and reported hearing eight to ten reports shortly before midnight. One frightened woman – who lives nearby - saw a man run out from between two buildings just after shots were fired. He got into a dark colored SUV and sped off before police arrived.
6- Weapons violation 04/24/2017 - 11:54 PM
3100 block Muir Field Rd.
Residents heard multiple gun shots, a revving car engine, and then the sounds of a car crash last night as bullets flew in the 3100 block of Muir Field Rd. Officers recovered many shell casings in an apartment complex parking lot, but there were no reports of injuries or property damage. An unoccupied car – with airbags deployed - was found smashed into a tree near the crime scene. Witnesses saw two people get out and run toward Sonora Court.
7- Robbery 04/25/2017 - 1:10 AM
5371 Old Middleton Rd. (Oakcrest Tavern)
Male, age 22, Madison
An employee, who was cleaning up at closing time this morning, was robbed at gunpoint after two masked men entered the Oakcrest Tavern, 5371 Old Middleton Rd. The intruders fled with cash from the till and alcohol.