HENDERSON — Four people wound up in law-enforcement custody to face weapons charges because of a Monday shooting incident at South Henderson Park and some follow-on issues at Maria Parham Health.
Police Chief Marcus Barrow said officers responding to a “fight with weapons” call at about 5:45 p.m. found a large crowd at the park’s ball field and “multiple shots” being fired.
By the time their evening’s work was done, they had charged Jamal Johnson, 22, Ajamiar Robinson-Clack, 21, and Isrrael Barreto Aguilar, 22, with single counts of carrying a concealed weapon. They also charged and turned over to state Juvenile Justice officials a 17-year-old who’s accused of possessing a weapon of mass destruction and possessing a machine gun.
Authorities are still investigating, and say it’s possible they will arrest and charge more people in connection with the incident.
They as yet don’t know what prompted the gathering at the park, but Barrow said there wasn’t any city-sponsored event going on there.
No one was hit by the gunfire, but two men went to the hospital with injuries they had received from an assault that occurred at the park.
Barrow said some of the arrests came after authorities at the scene saw a man trying to work the slide of a gun he was carrying. The man ignored orders to drop the weapon, and ran to a vehicle.
Police wound up seizing three firearms from the vehicle.
The police chief alleged that Johnson had a concealed 9mm Glock 17 pistol. There was an American Tactical AR-15 in “plain view” in the front passenger area, and they also found a Taurus 9mm pistol concealed near where Robinson-Clack was sitting in the back seat.
Police at the scene detained four people until they could figure out who had weapons in violation of state law, Barrow said.
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Meanwhile, officers were dispatched to Maria Parham after someone reported that two people there had gunshot wounds. Their injuries weren’t gunshots, as it turned out, but the report ensured that officers were on the scene when a large group of people gathered outside the hospital’s emergency department.
Officers thought at least some of them had been involved in the South Henderson Park incident, and that they “had also been seen with firearms,” Barrow said. They checked one vehicle, and from it seized a 9mm Glock 19 pistol, a .38-caliber Taurus PT1911 and a Palmetto State Armory PA-15 rifle (an AR-15 clone).
Barrow said the Glock 19 was found on the juvenile and had been “modified to fire full-auto.”
The continuing investigation could lead to charges against the two people who sought medical treatment at Maria Parham, among others, Barrow said.
Monday’s shooting comes a little more than three weeks after a high-profile gunfight at a West Andrews Avenue convenience store resulted in four arrests. The incidents have city leaders promising a response.
“Gun violence along with harmful and reckless behavior continues to threaten our neighborhoods and city. However, we’re going to turn this repeated disappointment and pain into a purpose,” Mayor Eddie Ellington said. “This a top priority of our City Council and administration.”
He added that city officials “have begun laying out a new aggressive roadmap to protect our communities while creating a safe environment for all residents.”
“As the weeks ahead unfold we will be focusing on intervention and prevention,” Ellington said. “We have already entered into planning and talks with the SBI, the DA’s office, our Police Department and sheriffs’s office and a few other key entities. As the sanctity of human life and well being of our citizens hangs in the balance, we must change course now for the hope and promise of our future.”
Contact Ray Gronberg at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 252-436-2850.