Number of victims hurt by gunfire increasing

Police investigate a shooting on Lillie Street early Thursday morning.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The homicide rate has seen a significant drop this year compared to last year, but the number of shootings involving someone being shot and surviving is up.

According to the Fort Wayne Police Department, from January 1 to June 30, 2013, there were 34 reported shootings. From January 1 to June 30, 2014, it increased to 46 reported shootings. Officer Michael Joyner, spokesperson for FWPD, said there’s several reason why people are being shot at.

“Fighting over territory, friction between rivals and unfortunately that type of activity leads to shooting,” he said.

The last shooting to date happened on Lillie Street on July 10. Investigators said the man appeared to have been outside when gunfire erupted from the street. City police spokesperson Officer Chris Felton said the man was shot near the street. He was in serious condition, but was downgraded to critical. He was still in critical condition as of Friday. It’s unclear if this shooting was gang-related, but according to Officer Joyner, he said most of the shootings are caused because of drugs or gangs.

“Our gang violent crime unit officers monitor these individuals and their activity,” said Joyner. “This helps us keep a handle on their ability to commit these types of crimes.”

Officers are have also realized that some of the criminals are coming from bigger cities. Joyner said they come to Fort Wayne because of their involvement in a gang or drugs.

Joyner mentions officers are getting the shooters off the street because of the public.

“We have been able to successfully close a lot of cases and bring to justice a lot of people that have been involved in this,” he said.

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