Dover mayor, police chief step up fight against crime

DOVER — Less than 24 hours after the city’s most recent shooting incident, law enforcement officials took a public stand against the continuing violent trend that’s far outpacing the past two years.

Dover Police Chief Marvin Mailey and Mayor Robin R. Christiansen announced aggressive plans to face a pace of shootings that will shatter last year’s mark if not stopped.

“We will do whatever it is we have to do to keep our children, our families safe and all innocent bystanders safe,” Mr. Christiansen during a Friday morning news conference at City Hall.

“We have come to a point in time that we will be saturating neighborhoods that have proven to be dangerous to the safety of our children and the communities in which they reside.”

Several times Friday, Mr. Christiansen referenced a “zero tolerance” policy for all laws in the city, including loitering, drunken behavior, and drug activity.

Dover Police Chief Marvin Mailey, left, and Dover Mayor Robin Christiansen discuss recent crimes in Dover on Friday at Dover City Hall. (Delaware State News/Marc Clery)

Also, Chief Mailey said, “There are several gangs in the City of Dover. We’re aware of them and we’re monitoring them.”

Investigating officers routinely have been stymied by a lack of victim and witness cooperation during recent incidents, authorities said.

“When our officers respond to a shooting scene, sometimes within seconds of it occurring, and every person claims to have seen nothing, it severely hurts our ability to solve those crimes,” Chief Mailey said.

“The majority of the time, the victims themselves, refuse to cooperate with our investigations. Someday, someone will be hurt that you know.

“It will be your mother, father, brother, sister, son, or daughter. At some point, when you do not share what you know … this will weigh on your conscience and I pray that someone would speak up before it is too late or before it’s really hits home and affects your family.”

As of Friday, there had been 23 shootings in 2017. There were 40 and 39, respectively in all of 2016 and 2015.

On Thursday, police investigated a report of multiple shots fired at approximately 12:19 p.m. in the first block of S. New Street, the area of several violent events in the past several weeks.

According to police, an occupied vehicle’s front windshield was struck by a single bullet. The round came from a vehicle that was seen fleeing by downtown surveillance cameras and parking in the area of Fulton and New streets. No injuries were reported.

Police said the investigation is ongoing and asked anyone with information to contact the Dover PD at 736-7130. 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, online at www.tipsubmit.com or through the Dover PD MyPD Mobile App.

During the news conference, Chief Mailey guaranteed that the source of all tips received will remain anonymous.

Other recent shooting incidents include:

• On Wednesday afternoon, two 28-year-old men were struck by gunfire in the Capital Green neighborhood. They suffered non-life threatening injuries.

• Early Tuesday morning, a 27-year-old man was shot in the leg in the area of Walker and Saulsbury roads.  The victim’s injuries were considered non-life threatening, according to authorities.

The injured man would only say he was shot near the 7-11 at the Hamlet Shopping Center, police said. He arrived at the hospital at approximately 12:30 a.m.

• At approximately 4:48 a.m. last Saturday, a home in the 300 block of North Bradford Street was shot nine times. Seven people were inside at the time and no injuries were reported.

Two black males were seen running from the scene and fled in a dark colored SUV, possibly a Cadillac Escalade, a witness told police.

• Last Friday, a 23-year-old man was wounded in the foot in a drive-by shooting in the 1400 block of South Farmview Drive at approximately 6:18 p.m. A silver Chevrolet Impala circled around and the gunfire resumed, police said, and the victim returned fire. The residence was struck by several rounds.

• On May 17, a 22-year-old man suffered a graze wound to his head and gunshot wound to his hand in the 200 block of North New Street. He was treated for non-life threatening injuries at the hospital.

A home was also struck by one round at approximately 9:27 p.m., police said.

• On May 15, a 22-year-old suffered a non-life threatening gunshot wound to the lower body in the first block of South New Street. Officers responded to a shots fired report at roughly 2:14 a.m.

• On May 2, a vehicle’s driver’s side window was shattered when struck by a bullet in the first block of South New Street at approximately 10:02 p.m. The driver was uninjured and did not see the source of the gunshot.

• On April 26, a residence in the first block of South New Street was shot at approximately 3:02 a.m., along with an unoccupied vehicle. No injuries were reported.

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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