CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The Charlottesville Police Department is addressing recent shootings in the city.
CPD held a press conference Thursday, January 7, discussing two separate shootings late Tuesday. The first happened in the area of 6th Street SE, followed by an incident around Prospect Avenue.
One person was treated for minor injuries.
Assistant Chief of Police Jim Mooney says people are “shooting wildly” and hurting innocent victims.
“In our cases on Tuesday, we had two incidents where apartment buildings were hit, and not just one apartment but multiple apartments,” Mooney said. “In one of those apartments a woman lay in her bed and a bullet traveled right through her mattress. Another woman was struck in the forehead.”
Charlottesville police say they responded to 122 confirmed cases for shots fired in 2020, including four homicides and 20 aggravated assaults.
CPD Chief RaShall Brackney and Major Mooney say the recent violence is not tied to a specific group.
“As far as gang activity, I would say that a lot of our cases may be connected but there there is a lot of violence, it’s not tied to one particular group or one particular person,” Mooney said.
Chief Brackney is calling on the community to unite and take action. During the news conference, the chief urged organizations that have called for change since the 2017 Unite the Right rally to put their resources to use.
“I’m calling on community advocates, influencers, organizers to go beyond Twitter, or Instagram, Facebook, your news interviews, podcasts, or social media mediums to leverage your collective resources.” Brackney said. “What we’re trying to do is stop the next act or incident before it occurs, and that takes more than just proactive police work. That takes community involvement.”
She says, so far, she has yet to hear from them on these matters.
“Where are some of our influencers and community leaders? Again, completely silent on these issues, though that’s not to say they’re not being worked on behind the scenes, but this is not a behind the scenes work any longer,” Brackney said.
Brackney says she wants the police force to work alongside organizers and find ways to initiate long-term systemic change.
“Get in contact with me,” Brackney added. “We will coordinate the resources with you.”
Brackney says the city also needs to look at what they are willing to spend in order to resolve long-standing issues of violence.
“We’re going into budget season. What does our budget look like to address community drivers of violence? Again, that will then get into other conversations about budget, but budgets are driven by the things that we say that we care about,” Brackney said.
Police want to hear from anyone with any information about the shots fired on 6th Street or Prospect Avenue, or any of the other shootings. Call Crime Stoppers at 434-977-4000.