MADISON, Wis. - Multiple gunshots were heard Thursday morning in the 5800 block of Russett Road, according to a release from Madison police.
Officers were called to the neighborhood at 9:27 a.m. when a number of concerned citizens called 911 to report gunfire.
The first officer to arrive said she heard additional rounds being fired. Madison police chief Mike Koval said multiple shots were fired at the responding officer.
Many shell casings were found, police said. There were no reports of injuries or property damage.
Witnesses reported seeing the gunman heading toward Raymond Road on foot. He's described as black, 5 feet, 7 inches tall, weighing 165 pounds, with shoulder-length dreadlocks.
"When they hear shots fired calls going out now, obviously, the way we stage, the way we respond, strategically and safely, is going to be altered, given what this may have meant today," Koval said.
Madison police have responded to numerous reports of shots fired so far in October.
"Our year to date is not good in terms of our shots fired calls," said police Chief Mike Koval. "We've got 98 up until today, and we've had 9 in the month of October alone."
Koval said these incidents are part of a troubling trend of gun violence in the city.
"They seem to be occurring with all too familiar frequency and the order and severity of frequency is all too disconcerting," Koval said. "Increasingly, we've got an escalating guns issue here in our city. How many people are perpetrating it is yet to be seen."
Koval said police are planning to expand their resources to deal with the number of shots fired calls.
"This week...even though we have scarce detective resources, I've made the decision that we're going to expand our violent crimes unit, or VCU, to have a complementary evening division," Koval said. " "I need to sort of triage and put together a MASH unit of what's the most important or compelling issue of our day, and that's clearly these shots fired or gun calls right now."
The Russett Road shots fired incident, which happened during daylight hours, shows how the incidents could lead to innocent bystanders getting injured or killed.
"When it's happening and it's happening in the light of day, when people are out and about and going to school and going to work and taking the kids for a walk to the park, that's what's really scary about this," Koval said.
Koval said investigators believe most of the shots fired incidents are being caused by a few dozen individuals and police need more information from the public in order to arrest them.
"The rest of us are held hostage to their violence," Koval said. "As long as we can get some actionable information from people, we can work our methodologies to also try to see if we can't get probable cause (to arrest them)."
"(Shell) casings don't talk. People do," Koval added.
Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to contact to Madison Area Crime Stoppers at 608-266-6014.
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