SALT LAKE CITY — A rash of gun violence in Salt Lake City had the police chief speaking out Tuesday, hoping steps can be taken to prevent future shootings.
This comes after one person was killed and three others were wounded during a shooting at an apartment complex near Redwood Road Monday evening.
Police aren't releasing the identity or age of the person who was killed at this time. The other victims were men between the ages of 18-21. Two of them were shot, and the other was hit with a gun during the incident. Two of those three have been released from the hospital, while the other remains in serious condition.
"I can't imagine what it was like for parents at that apartment complex who had children outside playing in the courtyard when bullets began to fly," said Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown.
During a press conference Tuesday afternoon, Chief Brown didn't mince words, saying the United States has an epidemic of both gun crimes and gun violence.
"It's going to take an all-hands-on approach," he said.
Chief Brown shared some numbers, which he says are concerning, when it comes to gun crimes in Salt Lake City.
So far this year, he said there have been about 30 robberies in which a firearm was used. He went on to say that there have been nearly 60 aggravated assaults involving a gun and more than 28 drive-by shootings since Jan. 1.
"That has become the conflict resolution tool that we know now. People are solving conflict through pulling the trigger and firing the weapon," said Chief Brown.
He said his department has worked to confiscate countless guns and get them off the streets.
However, Chief Brown said his department will need to continue to take a proactive approach.
"We've put officers very strategic in some [places] we call 'hot blocks' within our community, through the community here, to work on some of these things, so it's something that we know is going to occur and we're trying to do everything we possibly can to mitigate that," he said.
Chief Brown said the number one thing they can do is partner with the community to prevent this type of gun violence and to work on reducing all crimes.
He also urged people to take advantage of the upcoming gun buyback program and turn in any firearms they no longer wish to have. That event will take place Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Public Safety Building in downtown Salt Lake City. People can turn in a gun and get a $50 gift card in exchange (assault rifles will get a $100 gift card).