LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Over the weekend, the Little Rock Police Department reported at least seven “terroristic acts” in the city alone, the latest in a trend of drive-by shootings that target occupied buildings and cars, but these scary incidents are not as random as they seem.
A quiet stretch of Wright Avenue is winding down for the day, as businesses close and people head home to enjoy the evening. “If people hear the music playing,” says business owner Linda Woods, who plays blues out of the front door of her building, “they’ll stop sometime, sing, and ask you to play a song.” As of today, all is calm.
But Wright Ave. is just two blocks away from a drive-by shooting that happened Monday, a type of incident that has unfortunately become a common occurrence. “In comparison to last year,” says Lt. Casey Clark with the Little Rock Police Department, “we’ve seen approximately a 20% increase in the amount of aggravated assaults.” Listed within those assaults are “terroristic acts”, or shots fired into an occupied building or car. Within the last 48 hours, at least 3 occurred just in the City of Little Rock. “People are more wanting to intimidate folks,” said Clark, “more wanting to send a message than they are to actually hurt or kill someone.”
But these incidents, although common, are also targeted – and Woods says she hasn’t personally noticed anything where she is. “We don’t experience that on this street… I don’t hear about it, if they’re doing it, it happens after hours.” She says the area has actually improved in the last 30 years. “It was pretty rough,” Woods said. “You would have had the gangsters and all that going on. I feel like the area is much better, much, much better.”
Although reports of drive-by shootings continue to stack up, according to LRPD, as many as 90% of assaults are committed by someone known to the victim, and there hasn’t been a drastic increase in homicides. “The whole idea of just a random violent crime,” said Clark, “is just not really that prevalent here.”
If you would like to see the data for yourself, the City of Little Rock has interactive maps people can use to see where the reported crime happened in the area. You can check that out here.
A link to the maps click HERE.