10 gun violence incidents reported over 4 days in Madison, Fitchburg

Police believe incidents sparked by gang disputes
10 gun violence incidents reported over 4 days in Madison, Fitchburg

Police from multiple jurisdictions are working to identify individuals involved in a rash of recent gun violence.

Over the course of four days, starting on Christmas Day, police in Madison and Fitchburg have responded to 10 reports of shots fired.

“We’ve seen a serious spike in gun violence this past weekend. Fortunately at his point we don’t believe anyone has been shot,” said Joel DeSpain, spokesperson for the Madison Police Department. “Certainly several people have been targeted but we also know that there have been bullets flying in areas where people are inside their homes asleep, people are playing, they are working. So this is a very serious situation that we find ourselves in.”

Police believe the incidents are being sparked by a dispute between gang members. They say it is not a turf war and that gang members are using cars to move throughout the area to find their targets.

At 4:35 Saturday morning, shots were fired in the 2000 block of Pike Drive in Fitchburg. Those shots went through the walls of an apartment building narrowly missing the residents.

“They came awfully close and again it is a residence going through a wall,” said Lt. Todd Stetzer.

The spike of gun violence has been evident over the first 29 days of December as 17 incidents of weapon violations have been reported.

Because the individuals believed to be involved in the shootings have been moving to multiple jurisdictions to commit the crimes, police agencies in those communities are working together to identify those involved.

“We had detectives at several of the Madison scenes. They’ve had detectives at our scenes. We currently have investigators working with Madison officers and detectives interviewing people and tracking down other individuals,” Stetzer said.

Madison police have made three arrests in connection with the gun violence. Two are being held on weapon charges and the third for a probation violation. Police are conducting photo lineups.

“We have three people that we’re dealing with right now. Where this ends up we’re not sure. We know that there are many more than perhaps these three that were involved so it is a very fluid situation involving multiple jurisdictions and our hope is that in the next couple of days we can get a number of more people off of the street and get some charges that will really stick so that they are not out there over the New Year,” DeSpain said.

The hope is by getting the individuals involved off the street, it will put an end to the gun violence and the dispute.

“Certainly it does not appear that they have resolved these disputes so the chances that there may be more gunfire in the coming days is fairly strong,” DeSpain said.