Ardmore Police Chief Keith Mann said Friday his department is taking an aggressive stance against those involved in the series of drive-by shootings plaguing areas of the community.


Ardmore Police Chief Keith Mann said Friday his department is taking an aggressive stance against those involved in the series of drive-by shootings plaguing areas of the community.

 

“I know the public is concerned,” Mann said, as he talked about some of the methods officers were using to take those involved in the gunplay off the streets. “We are using several different tactics. Some of them have proved more fruitful than others.”

 

One of those tactics is surprise street operations in which the shooters are sought. 

 

Mann, Capt. Eric Hamblin and members of the APD Criminal Investigation Division are joining patrol officers in those operations.

 

Friday night a street operation was conducted.

 

Netted during that operation was Rico Murph. The 18-year-old man was booked into the Carter County Detention Center pending concealed weapon and attempt to destroy evidence charges. Reports will be sent to the district attorney’s office Monday for review and the filing of formal charges. Meanwhile Murph remains detained pending an initial court appearance.

 

Mann said similar operations conducted over the summer also garnered results.

 

“While none of the previous operations resulted in arrests, what they did do was allow us to recover numerous weapons,” Mann said.

 

A second prong of the investigation involves the gathering of intelligence. While investigators have struggled to obtain eyewitness information from victims and others at-the-scene, they have been able to use other methods to assemble substantial information. Dossiers on 20 people targeted as the main players have been compiled and distributed to officers.

 

“We know who they are,” Mann said.

 

Other information gathered by the intelligence-seeking effort includes:

 

The 23 drive-by shootings are not random. The gunplay is isolated — occurring between two feuding groups No one has been injured The shootings are motivated by a desire to demonstrate power All of the incidents have targeted opponents’ vehicles and homes or residences where opponents are known to be staying

“Most areas of Ardmore are safe. These are isolated incidents and we are assuring the public steps are being taken,” Mann said.

 

Although details surrounding the shootings are emerging, the chief continues to urge citizens to team up with the APD in obtaining a cease fire through arrests. Those with information concerning any of the following scenarios are urged to come forward:

Details about previous shootings Knowledge of where weapons are stored or hidden Identity of those either in possession of guns or holding guns for others Knowledge of planned drive-by shootings including time and location Knowledge of where known shooters are staying

Those with information should call police headquarters at (580) 223-1212.

 

The chief also had a message for those involved.

 

“We know who you are and we are coming for you. We’re tired of it and the public is tired of it,” he said.