Concern after gang-violence thought to be cause of mass shooting

Concern after gang-violence thought to be cause of mass shooting
Updated: Jul. 30, 2018 at 9:13 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Law enforcement are pointing to New Orleans gang members as responsible for this weekend's deadly mass shooting, killing 3 and injuring 7.

With this growing epidemic, some say an arrest won't necessarily solve the problem.

There has been a history of violence on the corner of South Claiborne and Louisiana. Criminologist point to shootings carried out by former 3NG gang member, Telly Hankton in 2008.

Dr. Peter Scharf says there hasn't necessarily been a belief that New Orleans has a significant gang problem.

"We have gangs and many of the killings in New Orleans whether identified or not have this group dynamic," said Scharf.

Police have said they believe Telly Hankton's former gang, the 3NG gang may be tied to Saturday's mass shooting.

And as demonstrated by this, and other shootings in the past, Scharf says they're not deterred by innocent bystanders.

"A lot many murders not all are basically assassinations and this one has every marking of an assassination. They're calculated and not particularly surgical they're not concerned with who else gets shot," said Scharf.

Police have said there's still a lot to be uncovered in the investigation. But Fox 8 legal analyst Joe Raspanti, who has experience in gang-related cases says there's a chance the shooters could face both state and federal charges.

"Federal court they've been prosecuting gangs for a long time. Here in state court you have a racketeering charge in Louisiana that's been around and hasn't been used a lot, but can be there's also an enhancement for gang-related crime which is a stack on top of consecutive charge on top of the underlying charge which can be brought against people if they're proven to be in a gang," said Raspanti.

But in order to get to that point, police say they need someone to come forward. Scharf is calling instead on city leaders to solve the root of the gang issue.

"We've failed our kids we failed to control the drug markets failed to control violent crime failed to control gun availability …. you have to get kids out of these dope markets out of these gangs and back to a mainstream of life," said Scharf.

Scharf says when a high-ranking gang member gets arrested or dies, it doesn't mean the end of the group.

He says there's a phenomenon where there's an influx of even more people wanting to join and fill that persons place.

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