Jonesboro shooting crimes related, police chief says

A string of shootings in Jonesboro are related to gang activity.
Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 6:49 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 23, 2021 at 11:09 PM CST
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - A Jonesboro shooting spree is the result of gang activity, per the Jonesboro Chief of Police.

Chief Rick Elliott spoke with the press Tuesday afternoon about the shootings after mounting pressure from the media and public. He held a joint press conference with Jonesboro Mayor Harold Copenhaver.

“There is a correlation between these shootings and gang activity. It’s an ongoing problem,” Elliott said. “And for some of these kids, that don’t have much of a home life, then the only family they may have maybe a gang, and that’s unfortunate.”

The youth was a focal point of the press conference, as Elliott said the suspected perpetrators fell within the 13 to 20-year-old age range. However, at this time, there is not enough evidence to make any arrests or “bring them to justice” as Elliott said.

Copenhaver proposed the way to combat these issues in the future is to “invest in the youth” of Jonesboro.

There were rumors the shootings were related to the shooting death of rapper Young Dolph in Memphis, but Elliott dismissed those claims on lack of evidence.

With the travel into Jonesboro on the rise due to the Thanksgiving holiday, Elliott said citizens should feel safe but also exercise caution nonetheless.

According to the Jonesboro Police Department, shooting reports are on par with where they were in 2019, but up from 2020. Of course, 2020 featured a pandemic and a tornado in Jonesboro, which could have contributed to the dip.

For reference, from January 1st to November 23rd, 2019, there were 67 incident reports that included a person or property being shot. In 2021, that number is also 67. In 2020, it was down to 47.

This is an ongoing story and will be updated as we receive new information.

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