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Shots fired calls on the rise in Albemarle County

Updated: Jun. 18, 2021 at 2:57 PM EDT
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ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - An upward trend in gun violence nationwide is being echoed in Albemarle County. Calls for shots fired are up from the same time last year.

Albemarle County police are taking a harder look at what’s driving this increase, and doing what they can to shut it down.

“Last year was an anomaly for us as it relates to homicides and a good bit of those homicides were conducted under gun violence,” Albemarle County Police Captain Darrell Byers said.

In 2020, there were eight homicides in the county, according to the department’s annual report.

“So far year-to-date through mid June we’ve had about 50 calls to services related to shots fired. That’s on track with what it was last year. If we look a little further back - 2018, 2019 - it’s a little bit higher, we were in the low 30 range,” said Byers.

The police department is trying to reduce these calls. One Charlottesville group called The B.U.C.K. Squad, is trying to help.

“We all work together for one common goal which is to reduce gun violence and just save lives,” The B.U.C.K. Squad co-founder, Pertelle Gilmore said.

After losing friend Jamarcus Washington to gun violence, The B.U.C.K. Squad was formed to assist in de-escalation.

Both The B.U.C.K. Squad and the Albemarle County police want community members to stay vigilant.

“Just know where you are, know what your surroundings are, and if you hear anything or see anything suspicious please contact us,” Byers said.

NBC29 reached out to the Charlottesville Police Department to talk about their numbers, but did not receive a call back.

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