ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Six people were shot in two separate incidents Friday afternoon in Rockford. Rockford Police say they need tips from the community to help solve these crimes.
The first shooting happened around 12:30 p.m. on Michigan Avenue, just west of South Main.
The second happened around 3:30 p.m. in the 3200 block of Auburn Street, near Kilburn.
Rockford Police Chief Dan O’Shea says investigations into the crimes often rely on tips from the community, but tips haven’t been flowing in like they used to.
“Our gun violence in Rockford, while it went down for three years, we were doing well, and this year, it’s just gone the other way. We’ve had way too many shootings since March of this year. Too many homicides this year,” O’Shea said at a press conference on Friday.
“We routinely have people that get shot and don’t want to cooperate with us. And that really hampers us, because we’re letting one person go who just did a shooting. Historically, that person’s going to do a bunch more shootings,” he continued.
O’Shea is asking anyone with information on the recent shootings to come forward.
“That’s the number one strategy, is the 147,000 people that live here, working together to get rid of the guns. That’s the most successful strategy we have,” he said.
Jeff Stovall, of the Rockford Area Crime Stoppers, added, “If you are fearful of police because your name’s in a police report, they can contact us (Crime Stoppers). We keep everything confidential, anonymous. We never know who the people are that are calling us.”
Stovall says Crime Stoppers has experienced a decrease in call volume during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We were shut down for two months. We answered our voicemails, our emails, but we were not actually in the office at that time,” he said.
Now that Crime Stoppers is back, Stovall is encouraging people to call with any tips they may have.
“The officers cannot be everywhere. We need the information coming in from the citizens because, no matter what crime you have, somebody knows something about that crime. So, whether they want to contact the Police Department or contact Crime Stoppers, we need the information,” he said.
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