Gang violence is up in Wichita

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WICHITA, Kansas – Gang violence is up in Wichita.

It’s a trend that has authorities working solve cases while curbing gang activity before it turns violent.

In light of several recent gang-related incidents, the district attorney’s office is urging the public to come forward with information to help solve the cases.

The numbers show that violent crimes that are gang-related are up so far this year compared to last.

Gang related drive-by shootings have doubled from last year to this year with 10 so far in 2013 compared to five at this time last year.

Aggravated assaults are are also up.

There were 18 at this time last year and there have been 29 so far this year.

Gang-related homicides are down from seven last year to five this year.

Police say that includes the shooting early Sunday morning on 11th and Mead that left one dead and injured four others.

Officers say it’s a case they think can be solved.

“That’s a case that’s very solvable, and we have worked a great number of hours in getting it solved, but the fact of the matter is there were over 100 people in that parking lot and very few people have stepped forward to say they witnessed the actual shooting,” said Lt. Scott Heimerman, WPD gang unit.

Heimerman says the police department combats gang activity through enforcement, intervention with at-risk youth, and educating the public on what they can do to help out law enforcement.

That includes the public being able to give tips through Crime Stoppers.

They’re hoping residents who are afraid of gang retaliation will use that so they can remain anonymous.

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