CMPD vows to stop criminals before they strike following vigil violence

CMPD vows to stop criminals before they strike following vigil violence

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by GLENN COUNTS / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @GCountsWCNC

WCNC.com

Posted on September 6, 2013 at 6:25 PM

Updated Friday, Sep 6 at 7:25 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- It has been a violent week in Charlotte. Over the Labor Day weekend, five people were killed in five days, and Thursday night, a peaceful candlelight vigil was interrupted by gunfire.

Four people were shot, including an 11-year-old boy. Fortunately their injuries are not life-threatening.

"I don't understand how anybody can be so cold and calculating. I don't understand that," said Judy Williams of Mothers of Murdered Offspring.

Her group sponsored the vigil. She says it will be the last one without police protection.

"We've been given marching orders from the top. We will not be doing any more searches without police on site, no more balloon releases, no more anything. That changes immediately as of today."

That directive came from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Rodney Monroe. His command staff met today for hours to try and come up with a plan to prevent a recurrence of last weekend's violence.   

Police say they plan to saturate problem areas, increase staffing by officers working longer hours, have helicopter and K-9 units focus on those problem areas and officers will pay particular attention to bars and nightclubs.

"It's not a big secret that anywhere we've experienced issues recently, we’re going to be there. There are some other areas we’re going to be proactive based on the data analysis," said CMPD Deputy Chief Kerr Putney.

He says they are looking for information in the vigil shooting. The department is also offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the suspect.

"What we can ascertain at this point is the goal was just to disrupt. We don't know if there were any more reasons beyond that," said Putney.

The deputy chief put those wanting revenge on notice. If they look for trouble, they are likely to find the law first this weekend.      

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