After 9 shootings in 5 weeks, Fall River officials seek to get gun violence under control

SE Mass

FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) — There have been nine shootings in Fall River since June 1. While none were fatal, some involved multiple victims and more than half currently lack a suspect.

On Thursday, Mayor Paul Coogan, Police Chief Jeffrey Cardoza, and Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn III held a news conference to address the recent rash of gun crime.

“All residents of any neighborhood should – at a minimum – be able to live free of violence,” Coogan said.

“Speaking for the members of my organization, we are absolutely appalled by what is going on,” Cardoza said.

The shootings took place in different parts of the city and police say they’ve identified suspects in four of the nine, though not all of them have been arrested.

Most recently, two women were shot Tuesday night in the area of Kennedy Park, one in the head and the other in the legs, according to police. Both are now recovering at the hospital.

Elvis Burgos, 40, and his son Joshua Burgos, 21, who live on nearby Mulberry Street, were arrested on charges including armed assault with intent to murder.

Police on Thursday revealed they recovered three firearms which neither suspect had a license to carry.

Cardoza said he’s reached out to federal partners including the FBI and ATF for help in dealing with the increase in gun violence.

In most of these recent cases, it appears the victims knew the suspects, according to Cardoza, which he said can make them harder to solve. But he also said what would be most helpful is cooperation between police eyewitnesses, which he admitted is not happening.

“It astonishes me how someone can be shot three times and not want to cooperate with the police, but apparently that exists unfortunately,” Cardoza said.

The mayor also had a message for “those who want to make the city more dangerous,” saying they won’t be able to keep running around unchecked.

“The city of Fall River will not allow people to break the law or intimidate others,” Coogan said. “If you believe the best way to live your life is to prey on others, steal, or do drugs: go live somewhere else.”

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