LRPD: ShotSpotter alerting police to gunshot victims, drive-bys despite no 911 calls

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Little Rock Police calls them hot spots, areas where crime happens over and over again.

“A lot of shots fired,” says Little Rock Police Sergeant Tabitha Carter.

Carter says the city’s gunshot detection software ShotSpotter appears to be working.

“It gives us an indicated area of about a 30 feet radius where that shot supposedly took place,” says Carter.

The system is able to pinpoint where shots are fired, in neighborhoods where the equipment is installed.

The equipment was installed in December and on the first night it went live, ShotSpotter pinpointed two shots fired calls at 4200 W. 25th and in the 2700 block of Peyton. Police found shell casings at both locations. 

Recently, ShotSpotter alerted Little Rock Police to a homicide last month on 29th Street, a drive-by shooting on West 25th Street where 14 shots were fired and on Sunday evening where a homeless man had been shot in the head on Asher. In all of these cases, police say, no one called 911.

“Potentially, could have had medical issues that he may have passed from,” says Little Rock Police Officer Eric Barnes.

Police say it can also help officers know how many shots have been fired.

“We’ll have multiple officers respond due to the number of shots being fired,” says Carter.

These areas may be hot for crime, but police say they’re getting hot on cracking crime minutes after it happens.

“Just go to that area,” says Carter.

Barnes says they’re closing monitoring all shots fired and shooting calls in areas where ShotSpotter technology is to make sure the equipment is working properly.

The cost is pricey but a federal grant is helping pay most of the bill in year one, but the city will have to pay more than $100,000 in year two to keep up on the maintenance of the equipment.

Coming up Sunday night at 7:30 on FOX16.com’s Arkansas Crime Watch, learn how police officers responded to shots fired calls before the ShotSpotter technology and how the equipment is helping officers find scenes more quickly.

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