Christiansen eyes action after latest Dover shootings

Robin Christiansen

DOVER — A violent nine-hour stretch left two men wounded in separate shooting incidents on the same Capital Green neighborhood block, Dover Police said.

Late Thursday afternoon, police announced the arrest of Dahhpy Brewah, 22, of Magnolia, in the second shooting. Mr. Brewah was arrested without incident after detectives determined he was a suspect, according to spokesman Master Cpl. Mark Hoffman said.

Pending charges against Mr. Brewah included first-degree assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and possession of firearm by person prohibited.

Since Feb. 28, 19 persons have been killed or wounded in 15 gunfire incidents within and just outside Dover’s city limits.

On Thursday morning, Mayor Robin R. Christiansen met with Dover Police Chief Marvin Mailey and staff “at length to review the increasing number of shootings in our city including the two most recent ones early this morning.”

Mayor Christiansen detailed his concerns in a letter to city council members and announced that “A renewed strategy, including enhanced site specific foot patrols and other enforcement strategies including zero tolerance, will be in place. …”

The mayor forecast that added “overtime expenses may be necessary; however, it is justified for the public safety of the entire city. The overtime and related costs will be used prudently and responsibly.

“Once again, I hope that you will support me, Chief Mailey and the men and women of the Dover Police Department in performing the difficult job of maintaining law and order and public safety in our city.”

Due to his schedule, Chief Mailey was unavailable for further comment, Cpl. Hoffman said Thursday afternoon.

Mayor Christiansen encouraged council members to contact him for any questions or to share concerns. A media attempt to reach him for further comment after the letter’s release was not successful.

Council members react

Councilman Brian Lewis, Chairman of the Safety Advisory and Transportation Committee, wanted to know more from the mayor after receiving the letter.

“I hear what the mayor is saying in regard to the increase of violent crime within the city,” Mr. Lewis said Thursday.

“Clearly this is an important issue in which I would like to see the mayor and police chief come before the Safety Advisory and Transportation Committee, in executive session, to explain the details of his letter.

“We have a process where the city council operates on a committee system and we have many committees that are there to do the preliminary work of the city council, but in order to do this we need to hear the actual facts. It is most appropriate that the mayor and police chief come before the Safety Advisory and Transportation Committee and present their request.

“I personally don’t want to make any out of pocket decision without more information to include a workable solution.”

Revisiting an earlier discussion, Councilman David Anderson urged city leaders to consider adding more technology to the police crime-fighting arsenal.

“I support the mayor and the chief in their efforts,” Mr. Anderson said. “I do think that we need to look at finding ways to bring 21st century technology into the mix with a serious look at Shotspotter-type technology, but through a company that offers purchase options not leasing.”

Councilman Scott Cole pledged to “have full confidence in the chief and the police department to implement and carry out all strategies to make the city a safe place.

“I feel like our police department and leadership are looking to be proactive to ensure the citizens of Dover feel protected.”

The ongoing spate of violence has the public’s attention, Council President Tim Slavin said.

“This latest episode of shootings has, understandably, tested the patience of citizens,” he said. “We all support our police in this effort, but the expectation of many citizens is that new strategies should result in better outcomes.”

Eagerly anticipating a previously schedule ridealong with Dover PD officers was councilman Matt Lindell, who wanted “to get a first hand look at the challenges that we face in addressing the issues of crime in our community.

“Law abiding citizens should not have to live in fear of or put up with individuals who choose to adversely affect our community’s quality of life,“ he said.

“With that being said, I think the problem is multifaceted and we need to continue to work to promote economic/business development throughout the city and continue to support our community non-profit organizations’ efforts to promote affordable home ownership through the revitalization of housing in our down town neighborhoods.”

The latest incidents

An 18-year-old man was shot in the lower back at approximately 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the 400 block of River Road, according to authorities. He was treated for his injuries and released from Bayhealth-Kent General Hospital in Dover, and police said he was “minimally cooperative” with investigating detectives.

At roughly 4:31 a.m. Thursday, officers returned to the same area for another shots fired report and found a 37-year-old man wounded in his upper body. He was transported to Kent General by medical personnel and treated for a serious injury, Cpl. Hoffman said.

According to witnesses of the second incident, several people were gathered and an argument may have preceded the shooting.

Cpl. Hoffman said investigations were ongoing and asked anyone with information to call the Dover PD 736-7111. Callers may remain anonymous. Tips can also be submitted to law enforcement through tip lines maintained by Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333 or online at www.tipsubmit.com or through the Dover PD MyPD Mobile App.

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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