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Police investigate shooting in city

July 21, 2003|by BRIAN SHAPPELL

shappell@herald-mail.com

City Police were investigating a shooting on Noland Drive stemming from a fight between two groups of men shortly before dusk on Sunday.

Sgt. Jim Hurd said at least two or three shots, likely from a small-caliber handgun, were fired just after 8 p.m. in Court 1 of Noland Drive. Hurd said a fight broke out between two groups that included residents and visitors of another nearby resident.

"We're not sure if they were friends or rivals before this," Hurd said.

Hurd said no one was struck by any of the shots. He also said he could not release the names of anyone involved Sunday evening, since the investigation had just started.

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Hurd said police are investigating whether some of the men were involved in drug trafficking and whether that had something to do with the fight or shooting.

"There's plenty of drug trafficking in the area, but there's no way we can say if it was one of these guys at this point," Hurd said.

Police descended upon the neighborhood after reports that a man wearing jeans and a red, white and blue jersey fired a gun in Court 1. At 9:30 p.m., Hurd said several men believed to be involved were being questioned inside one of the residences in the 1000 block of Noland Drive.

Dozens of residents in the court gathered in front of their residences as police questioned neighbors and searched front yards and the parking lot for bullet casings. Several seemed uneasy about speaking about the incident for fear of retribution.

One frustrated resident said "blatant drug trafficking" has become more common in the last six months and is giving the neighborhood a bad name. The resident also said he was angry because it is becoming unsafe for children to play near their homes.

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