Investigators search for gangs operating in the 6th District
NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Investigators are working to curtail violence in the Sixth District, where nine people have been murdered so far this year.
"We continue to work, but we can relate this to an uptick in gang activity going on in this area," said the NOPD's Sixth District Commander Ronnie Stevens.
Stevens said gangs are operating in the area, and the NOPD is aware of the situation.
"We've worked operations recently which led to the arrest of a couple of individuals we identified, and we've seen it curtail the violence in those areas, especially around Felicity and Magnolia where we had the last few incidents happen," Stevens said.
Stevens believes the gangs are feuding with one another, which in turn is fueling the violence. He said the NOPD is working with state, local and federal partners to identify and catch those responsible.
"We're looking into the possibility of some incidents that may have happened outside the Sixth District and into other parts of the city," Stevens said.
When five people were shot in the Lower Ninth Ward - two fatally - on Mardi Gras night, Chief Michael Harrison said the Fifth District violence was also gang-related.
"We believe these homicides and several other recent outbreaks of violence in the Fifth and Sixth districts are linked to vicious gang activity perpetrated by suspects who are known to one another," Harrison said.
At the time, Harrison said he briefed Mayor Landrieu about the gang activity.
"He's authorized and instructed me to use any and all resources to identify, investigate and arrest any and all individuals responsible for this spike in shootings and murders," Harrison said.
"I say we're working with our partners, but the biggest information I've gotten lately has come from our citizens in my area. That's why I'm asking for any help with it and to continue feeding us that information here in the Sixth District," Stevens said.
The NOPD said it has solved three of the last four homicides in the Sixth District.
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