Officials in the city of Gary, Indiana, addressed safety concerns related to 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 and killed in an approximate 24-hour period on October 2 and 3, causing public concern.
The body of 50-year-old April King was discovered inside an abandoned house on Sunday. A man with a head wound was found on the home’s front porch, leading police to believe the incident was an attempted murder-suicide.
Later that day, 37-year-old Arlandus Jackson was admitted to a local hospital with a gunshot wound. He was later pronounced dead.
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The teenagers of Gary Dayvion Jones, 16, and Bobby Wright, 14, were shot and found unresponsive by authorities Monday morning. Their deaths were ruled homicides by the medical examiner’s office.
While the recent deaths have shaken the small Indiana town, city officials say none of the crimes were random, drug or gang related.
“We believe [the teens] they were killed together at the same time. Officers have very good leads in this case,” Gary Police Chief Brian Evans said at a news conference Tuesday.
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Gary Mayor Jerome Prince also assured the public that officials are prioritizing public safety in Gary, which is approximately 30 miles south of Chicago.
“I mean that’s not Gary. That’s certainly not who we are,” Prince told reporters.
“We do everything in our efforts to make sure it’s a safe city, understanding that ‘safe’ is a matter of perspective,” added the Democratic mayor.
There have been 52 homicides in Gary so far in 2022, up 44% from October 2021.
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The Gary Police Department and Metro Homicide Division are investigating the murders, along with federal and local officials.
Authorities are asking anyone with information to contact the Gary/Lake County Metro Homicide Unit at 219-755-3855.