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Flint city leaders call for an end to violence after weekend shootings

The Flint Police Department reported that a dozen shootings happened in one night over the weekend and the uptick in violence now has Flint city leaders speaking out.
Published: Jul. 27, 2020 at 6:09 AM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - The Flint Police Department reported that a dozen shootings happened in one night over the weekend and the uptick in violence now has Flint city leaders speaking out.

According to Flint police, 12 shootings happened throughout the city Saturday night. Of those 12 shootings, police said that 10 of those victims are in good condition, one is in serious condition, and one is in critical condition as of Sunday afternoon.

Police said that six of those victims were shot at the Hallwood Plaza on Clio Road in Flint as part of a pop-up party reportedly associated with the filming of a music video.

According to police, the crowds at the party grew exponentially from 50 people to more than 1,000 people in a matter of minutes.

“We have made multiple arrests, we’ve recovered multiple weapons and connections with these crimes. And additional arrests are likely,” said Phil Hart, Flint’s police chief.

Hart said that the police department was aware of the party happening Saturday night and they stepped up patrols and added officers to the Saturday night shift because of it.

“We worked proactively at the Flint Police Department to stop this event before it even started,” Hart said. “We had communications, we explained that this type of activity was illegal. We closed it down in two other locations and they decided to move to the Hallwood Plaza and it just ballooned from there.”

Hart said that officers from the Flint Police Department and Michigan State Police were on scene attempting to get with the organizers to shut down the party when the shooting happened.

Hart said that the shooting happened when a fight broke out in the crowd.

Flint mayor, Sheldon Neeley, spoke out about the shootings at a Sunday news conference.

“I have a clear message,” he said. “The City of Flint will no longer tolerate this and we will not let people exploit us for these types of activities.”

Neeley spoke on the rise of crime that has happened in the city so far this year.

According to ABC12′s previous reporting, non-fatal shootings in Flint have gone up 126 percent from this time last year.

And while no one has died from last weekend’s shootings, Neeley said the community has to step up and do better.

“This is a fight that we are engaged in that law enforcement cannot fight on its own,” he said. He went on to say, “we have to do better, as a society, and as a community.”

Neeley did speak on some ways the city is working on curbing some of this violence, including a gun buyback program and filling 14 positions in the Flint Police Department that Neeley said have been vacant for more than a year.

As for the weekend shootings, police said that the investigations continue. Stick with ABC12 for updates to this story.

RELATED STORY: “Enough is enough:” Witnesses, Flint city leaders react to overnight wave of violence

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