Regional
4:22 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

Springfield Takes Harsh Stance Against Recent Spike In Gun Crimes

Springfield has seen a recent spike in gun violence.  City and County officials are calling for a cease fire.

Mayor Mike Houston, Springfield Police Chief Kenny Winslow, State's Attorney John Milhiser and Sangamon County Under Sheriff Jack Campbell address the media about Springfield's recent gun crimes.
Mayor Mike Houston, Springfield Police Chief Kenny Winslow, State's Attorney John Milhiser and Sangamon County Under Sheriff Jack Campbell address the media about Springfield's recent gun crimes.
Credit WUIS/Lee Strubinger

The Springfield Police Chief says there have been 20 shooting incidents since the beginning of March.  He says it has even involved local teenagers. 

Since summer break is approaching, the city says it’s developing a strategy for handling the violence.

Though no specifics on the strategy were given, Springfield Mayor Mike Houston says the city will come down hard on those taking part in gun crimes.

“Anyone participating in these shootings, in any manner, will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and we will be asking for the maximum time in prison,” Houston said.

Houston says the city will prosecute anyone involved in the crime.

“And someone who is involved in any way shape or form—be that providing a vehicle, be that providing a weapon, be that providing ammunition—can expect to be charged and prosecuted to the fullest extend of the law.  It is not simply a matter of we’re talking this mourning, about the people who’re firing guns,” Houston said.

Houston says the city will also seek to prosecute any minors involved as adults.   Springfield police and other area law enforcement are joining the effort and have asked the public to come forward with any information about the incidents.   Patrols have also been increased.