LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – In less than a month, there’s been eight shootings in Lexington and more than 80 for the whole year.
ABC36 had a sit with Lexington’s chief of police about the reasons behind the shootings and if the department is taking any steps to minimize the problem.
Chief of Police, Lawrence Weathers says one shooting is too many.
He compared shootings from this time last year to right and he says the number of shootings are lower but the number of shootings with injuries have gone up about 22%.
In 2019, Lexington’s crime data shows 10 homicides involving guns and seventy assaults involving guns in the city.
Chief Weathers says one of the most concerning aspects of this is how people are getting the guns.
This year, police say 132 guns have been reported stolen from vehicles in Lexington. The guns are seldom recovered and when they are it’s often because police are investigating another crime.
“Don’t leave a gun in the car. The glove box is not safe. Now we’re even finding out the trunk of a vehicle is not safe,” said Lawrence Weathers, Lexington’s Chief of Police.
Chief Weathers says drugs and social media have been playing a role in the shootings.
“Social media; Things get fueled, people start to argue, and sometimes a gun is brought into play,” said Chief Weathers.
Chief Weathers says his officers pay close attention to where shootings are happening. When the numbers go up, he says specialized units head to “hot spots”.
While we might not be able to end the violence in the city completely, he says people speaking up can make a big impact.
“Silence promotes violence so if you don’t say something then I think we’re going to see things continue,” said Chief Weathers.
In the future, Chief Weathers says he wants to evaluate areas of Lexington that are growing and find the best ways to use all of his resources.