LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The Louisville Metro Police Department is relying on the community to help stop shootings and homicides as guns reported stolen are being removed from criminals’ hands.
LMPD Major Aaron Crowell and his officers with the Criminal Interdiction Unit work hard to take those criminals off the streets. Crowell told WAVE 3 News the rate at which they are seizing more assault weapons, high-capacity magazines, and guns with illegal alterations is alarming.
However, he said a majority of guns used in violent crimes in Louisville were at one point purchased legally.
The guns got into the wrong hands for a number of reasons, according to Crowell: legal gun owners leaving their firearms in their unlocked cars, as well as thieves stealing guns in burglaries and carjackings.
“Criminals are going to do what criminals do,” Crowell emphasized. “Violent offenders are going to find guns, and unfortunately, they get them and they’re going to use them.”
A barrage of gunfire broke out in the Audubon neighborhood on April 3. The Kelman family caught the experience on their Ring camera: nearly 20 seconds of deafening shots. Jaylen Cooper, 24, and two juveniles were later arrested for their involvement.
Days later on April 7, Crowell said LMPD officers pulled over a car with 20-year old LaJuantre Gray, 28-year old Christopher King, and two other juvenile passengers; all of them were arrested for having seven guns that had been reported stolen.
According to Crowell, officers seized a total of 12 illegally possessed guns in the past week.
The way to help alleviate the issue, he said, is for gun owners to keep them locked up.
“We really need the public’s help to secure their weapons so they don’t fall into the hands of the violent criminals,” Crowell said. “They’ve just changed hands repeatedly and been acquired by unlawful means.”
LMPD is working on building partnerships with the ATF and federal and county courts to keep repeat criminals in possession of illegal guns off the streets.