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Arnold police investigate incidents of gunfire

| Wednesday, April 10, 2013, 1:01 a.m.

Arnold police Chief William Weber on Tuesday told worried residents his officers are investigating several recent incidents of gunfire in the city.

Weber said he believes the shootings, in which no has been reported injured, primarily involve out-of-towners worried about people “rolling over” on them after a recent drug-related raid by the state Attorney General's Office.

The most recent burst of gunfire occurred about 9:50 p.m. Monday in the 1500 and 1600 blocks of Fourth Avenue, Weber said.

A woman who lives on the 1600 block of Fourth Avenue told Arnold Council she found a bullet lodged in her wall Tuesday morning not far from where she sleeps.

She believed the bullet was fired during a second volley of shots overnight.

Weber said witnesses saw four men wearing all black drive off in a car after shooting at another man who was on foot. Police do not have solid descriptions of the men involved, other than that they were black males wearing all black.

Other recent shootings have occurred since Easter at Third Avenue and 16th Street, where a house and car were hit, and at Third Avenue and 18th Street, where another car was shot up, Weber said.

He said there have been similar incidents in New Kensington that police believe are related.

“We've been busy,” Weber said. “We're doing what we can do.”

Weber said delays in people reporting information to police is hampering their investigation.

He urged residents to immediately call 911 — not the police department's phone number — when they first witness anything suspicious.

Since officers are often on patrol or responding to incidents, a considerable amount of time could pass before they receive information left on the police station's answering machine.

Weber also suggested that parents crack down on their children's associates. He said residents allowing the “bad element” to visit and stay in their homes is enabling people from outside the area to gain a foothold in the city.

The return of warm weather also is compounding the problem, since more youths are outside later in the evening, Weber said.

“Can winter come back?” he quipped.

Karen Corey of Riverside Drive urged residents to participate in neighborhood crime watch so they can help alert police to potential problems. She said just interacting with neighbors and letting the criminal element know residents are actively reporting problems sends a message that crime won't be tolerated.

“There is strength in numbers,” she said.

Liz Hayes is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4680 or lhayes@tribweb.com.

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