Valley law enforcement launches new approach to gun violence investigations


PHOENIX — Never-ending stories of how rampant gun violence in the Valley has upended lives has led law enforcement across the region to launch a new enforcement effort.

Earlier this month, nine people were shot dead at a party at 10th Avenue and Hatcher. Police say a handgun was fired into a crowd after an argument.

The age of the victims varies between 14 and 24 years. A 14-year-old girl named Emily Morgan died of her injuries in hospital.

No suspicious information was disclosed.

“It makes me want to cry. (I) felt a little bit of pain for them,” said Jay Rosé who lives down the street.

The very night of that mass shooting, Damarkus Edison, 15, was shot and killed – just four blocks away at 14e Avenue and Hatcher.

Nicole Walter is his aunt who said the kid who loved dirt bikes and working on cars – never even had the chance to get a driver’s license.

“He was a great big brother, he was a gentleman. He was everything a little boy should be,” Nicole said.

We are told that Edison approached a car near his home in the area and was shot.

The night of the shooting – Nicole says police left quickly to respond to nine other people who were shot a few blocks away.

“His [investigation] maybe an hour tops,” Nicole said.

Now that the family is planning to put Damarkus to rest, they say they have heard nothing from the police regarding the identification of who took his life.

“Justice. Get whoever did this,” Nicole said.

Unresolved cases of gun violence have drawn the attention of community leaders.

Phoenix police, county prosecutors and the ATF plan to launch a multifaceted approach to gun violence enforcement.

Details will be released Wednesday morning, but ABC15 has learned that Phoenix police and the ATF are aiming to accelerate their collaboration to get faster results.

This includes ballistics testing on bullet casings commonly found after a gunfight.

Some neighbors in the area of ​​these two shootings on the same night would like to see more neighborhood policing.

“You have to get involved, it’s more than just wearing a badge,” Rosé said.

A Gofundme has been set up to help Demarkus’ family with funeral expenses.


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