Fort Pierce creates gun violence task force

Posted at 10:46 PM, Jan 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-12 23:28:25-05

In the first 12 days of 2016, police say two people were shot and killed. At least 3 others were injured by gunfire.

The Fort Pierce Police Department, in an effort to combat the recent series of shootings, initiated a multi-agency task force partnering with the ATF, the FBI, the DEA, the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office and Homeland Security.

The Task Force will operate for an undetermined amount of time.

Within hours of the Task Force being created, the first arrest was made and a handgun taken off the streets. Police say detectives conducted a traffic stop. Police say the passenger, Daryl Walker, threw a handgun from his car as he ran from the car.

Detectives arrested Walker for possessing a firearm as a convicted felon.

It's a good start for residents who say they're concerned about the gunfire they're hearing almost daily. "There's a whole lot of shooting, a whole lot. I heard some last night," said Fort Pierce resident, John Maple.

Maple, who is new to Fort Pierce, says he is always watching his back. "It makes me very nervous."

Police have only made one arrest in the recent shootings, saying too many people in the community are afraid to come forward with information that could help them make more arrests.

Police have not said what they think is behind the recent increase in gun violence. Maple has his own idea. "I think drugs have a lot to do with it. A whole lot," Maple said.

Maple worries about young people's lives being cut short. "Some of them need to grow up fast because if they don't, they're just not going to make it. Thats it."

The Fort Pierce Police Department is asking anyone with information about the shootings to contact Detective Samuel Cooper at 772-370-1226 or Treasure Coast Crime Stoppers at 800-273-TIPS.