Heather Ridge Shooting (copy)

Frederick police crime scene supervisor Sabrina Swann collects evidence along Heather Ridge Drive after a shooting.

Frederick police and city officials are considering how to deal with violence after a shooting and a stabbing in separate incidents Sunday, the latest in a string of serious crimes in the city.

Police are investigating whether a shooting early Sunday in the 400 block of North Market Street is related to another shooting in the 600 block of North Market Street on Aug. 31.

The short time frame between the shootings and their relative proximity have drawn investigators’ attention, said Frederick Police Department Lt. Kirk Henneberry, although he couldn’t confirm a connection Monday.

In Sunday’s incident, police responded to reports of gunshots at 1:17 a.m. at Fourth and Market streets, where officers found a man with gunshot wounds, according to police.

The man was released from the hospital Monday, police spokeswoman Michele Bowman said.

At 1:37 a.m. Aug. 31, two men and two women were shot in the 600 block of North Market in what police believe was the result of a dispute.

Police have charged Bryant McMillon Jr., 34, of Silver Spring, with a series of gun offenses in that incident.

And on Sept. 3, police responded to the 300 block of Heather Ridge Drive for a report of a shooting, and were told that a man had been taken to Frederick Memorial Hospital.

Police have occasionally responded to clusters of reports of shots being fired in a particular area in a short amount of time, but the three recent gunfire incidents are somewhat unusual in that all three have had people get hit, Henneberry said.

Police are also investigating a stabbing in the first block of South Market Street, near Carroll Creek Linear Park, that was reported at 9:21 p.m. Sunday.

Police were still investigating Monday, but it appears that the suspect and victim knew each other, Henneberry said.

That stabbing comes as investigators continue to examine a stabbing on Blueridge Court near the Golden Mile on Aug. 31 that left a man hospitalized.

That case remains open, and detectives contacted the victim again Monday to try to get a better explanation of what happened, Henneberry said.

As a result of the recent incidents, police had more officers on patrol for five days last week, and will have extra vehicle and foot patrols for five days this week, particularly on Market Street, Henneberry said.

The patrols aim to reassure the public, as well as get more officers out into communities to talk to residents about what they’re seeing and what is going on, he said.

The patrols will be paid for by a $20,000 grant that the department got in July from the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention.

As police worked the various cases, Frederick’s elected officials tried to figure out how to deal with the surge of violence.

“It’s frustrating because it sends the wrong message about what this community really is,” Mayor Michael O’Connor said.

Despite the recent cases, serious crimes — such as murder, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, larceny, and vehicle theft — are down 11 percent from last year, according to police.

“But that doesn’t matter, because when people hear about these types of incidents, perception is everything,” O’Connor said about the drop.

Alderman Roger Wilson doesn’t think the violence had reached a level where it would affect the city’s reputation.

“I don’t think we’re at that point yet,” he said.

But the city does need to make sure that police are in the right places, and use its neighborhood advisory councils to make sure they’re hearing from the community, Wilson said.

He would also like to see a staff position to oversee human services and make sure information flows freely.

While Frederick has an outstanding police department, Wilson said the city has to deal with trends that other cities face.

“Our community is not immune to the gun violence that’s happening across the nation, state and region,” Wilson said.

Alderman Ben MacShane said he’s asked the police department for an analysis to see if anything unusual is happening, or if a series of relatively infrequent events are just happening at the same time.

He said he wants to get the information so that the city can get an accurate message out to the community.

The city needs to be proactive and communicate with residents about what is happening, and reassure them that they have a safe city, said Alderman Derek Shackelford.

The effort will involve a combination of public officials, law enforcement, and members of the community.

“We need to be on this. We need to be addressing this,” Shackelford said.

Follow Ryan Marshall on Twitter: @RMarshallFNP.

Ryan Marshall is the transportation and growth and development reporter for the News-Post. He can be reached at rmarshall@newspost.com.

(18) comments

Ekascic

bye

Ekascic

Pardon me, experiment: 520 N Market St.

Lemmy

Don’t make a comment about the influx of vagrants downtown stoned and passed out or fighting and swearing and harassing people as they walk by. You’ll get deleted.

Ekascic

Can't tell yet but my open-ended question about 520 N Market St may have been deleted too lickety split. Good thing Frederick is being protected like this lol

Ekascic

Good thing the "journalists" at the Frederick Post are keeping us all safe ;)

Joey Pesto

I hope the police walking the beat, where and when the community is out and about, is not only for a week or two after the gun violence. It needs to be all year long, in all types of weather. It's about time that the mayor of Frederick takes control of his employees and gets them to serve the taxpayer. They can help tourist find their way or help someone in a crisis. It's not all about fear. This isn't rocket science. And if we the public don't like how he is managing, then we vote him out.

gdunn

then pay them appropriately to stand out in the rain, 90 degree heat and freezing weather for 10 hours while calls stack all over the city.

CityBoy

The City needs elected officials that possess the political will to act rather than ponder and study. Hiding behind agenda driven stats is not leadership. What's it gonna be Frederick? Will you fiddle while Rome burns? It's on you.

riccicc

Most of the city's alderman are brain dead. That's why and how they got that job. Don't expect something to be done too quickly or harshly, it just wouldn't be PC.

gardenwhimsey

Bars & booze...the city has set itself up for trouble downtown by encouraging so many bars and breweries clustered there. Very little good happens when people who have been imbibing for hours are turned loose on the streets.

Dwasserba

Oh, fine, I'm awake at that hour and I can haul my bones down there to rattle around N Market hustling these patrons to move along quietly, nothing like Grandma right there to keep the peace, who's with me

MRS M

There are eight homes in the historic district and the Baker Park lake area currently on the market, with prices ranging from $850,000 to over $1.5 million! ALL are within easy walking (and striking) distance to this ongoing and repeated criminal activity. Businesses in the downtown area, including Market Street and the Carroll Creek area, are ALL threatened by the same terrible news of violence....never mind that most of these violent crimes are occurring in the early morning weekend hours. If the Mayor, or some of the city's alderman, do not understand the real threat to the city's vibrancy and economy and act upon this threat, Frederick and ALL it's current residents and businesses have much to lose. The city's reputation will flounder in the shadow of this violence, which will have the effect of turning away prospective buyers in the nearby real estate markets, and in the many shops and restaurants in the downtown area which contribute so much to the city's vibrant and attractive reputation.

shiftless88

That's a little dramatic, I think. These are not random acts of violence between strangers. These are beefs that have gotten out of hand.

MRS M

"Beefs that have gotten out of hand" often tragically impact innocent bystanders, as shown all over America.....especially if guns are involved. The area of North Market above 4th or 5th, and the South Market neighborhood, will never have a chance to be revived to the degree of the North Market and Patrick Street juncture, and will remain marginal, if this violence continues. What prospective businesses, with huge up-front investments and start-up costs, can survive these crimes on their doorstep, and the bad press that accompanies it? I also continue to believe that prospective buyers in the million dollar plus range may be negatively influenced by the increasing serious violence only blocks from expensive residential areas. Many city residents living in the south of Market/All Saints neighborhood have continued to report in neighborhood meetings an inability to protect their property and their homes from vagrants of all types....at all hours of the day and night....with apparently the police having no ability to control the trespassing. This is not good news for the City of Frederick....and hardly dramatic when street violence and vagrancy are both increasing..........rather than the other way around.

Ekascic

Agreed and well said. Not that I'm so worried about the million dollar buyers but we do want money to come into the city.....

mr_twist27

Wilson and MacShane to the rescue! (Sarcasm)

KMRD1

Put a beat cop in the 300 Block of N Market St like they had years ago to keep Deano’s and Olde Towne under control.

gdunn

There are several cops on foot downtown every Friday and Saturday night. Thugs don't care as liberal MD had blames the police when they make arrests or take enforcement actions. Other than Alderman Russell, the rest of alderman are clueless social justice warriors that hate the police.

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