TAMPA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – The City of Tampa is seeing a big increase in gun violence this year compared to previous years.
On Friday, Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan held a conference saying there’s been a sharp increase in gun violence in the East part of Tampa. He says since January 1, 2021, there’s been 230 non-fatal shootings, 98 firearms stolen from cars, and 369 total crimes involving guns.READ MORE: The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office In Contract With FDOT For Speed Enforcement
He also says there have been 23 homicides this year, compared to 14 last year.
Chief Dugan says the Tampa Police Department is using a new technology that can link guns to other crimes, but they need help finding them.
“You don’t have to get involved. Just tell us where the gun is. That’s what we are after. This isn’t about gun control, this isn’t about taking people’s guns away, it’s about guns that are being used in crimes,” said Dugan.READ MORE: Georgia Expands CAPS Child Care Program To Add 10,000 More Children
Family members of those who have been lost due to gun violence were also at the conference, as well as members of the Rise Up For Peace organization.
Patricia Brown lost her son, Devante Brown, during a shooting in March of 2020.
“You’re hurting too many families, too many kids that are losing loved ones. I mean parents, fathers, mothers, mothers losing their kids. It’s just getting to be too much,” said Brown.
The Rise Up For Peace organization is holding two walks against gun violence on June 26 and July 10.MORE NEWS: Ghosts of Ybor City
Chief Dugan says his police department will be participating in both.