More than 20 fugitives were located, two dozen firearms were seized, 94 criminal and traffic citations were issued and nearly 50 arrests were made after police created a task force intended to crack down on the number of shootings in Lexington.
Those figures were released Tuesday when Police Chief Ronnie Bastin, flanked by the mayor and fellow officers, discussed progress made by the Violent Crimes Task Force, which was created in October after a string of shootings that killed or injured 14 people in Lexington.
The task force worked in conjunction with all bureaus of the police department, prosecutors, the Office of the Fayette County Sheriff, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, government officials, community leaders and residents to investigate violent crimes involving guns that occurred between Oct. 5 and Oct. 13.
Police said on Tuesday that the shootings were not random, were not the result of gang activity and were, for the most part, unrelated. The majority were drug-related.
"A number of persons are in jail who were responsible for these acts," Bastin said.
The task force completed 205 field investigations, made 47 arrests and issued 26 citations for various criminal charges and 68 citations for traffic-related offenses, said Lt. Melissa Sedlaczek, head of the police department's Community Law Enforcement Action and Responsibility unit.
Fifteen of the arrests were narcotics-related. Half of the arrests involved a firearm, she said, meaning either the person arrested was carrying a firearm or they were being questioned about a crime involving guns.
Police seized 25 guns, including two assault rifles, one a regular rifle.
One suspect committed two crimes, but in general, the shootings were "separate, isolated incidents," said Lt. James Curless.
More than 20 fugitives were located, including three who were on the sheriff's Most Wanted List, Sedlaczek said.
As police investigated the shootings, one by one, officers said they thought the victims, in most of the shootings, knew their attackers or had some type of relationship with them.
Sedlaczek said the arrests and the decrease in shootings stemmed from an influx of more officers on the street that allowed them to respond quickly to incidents that occurred during the evening. Sedlaczek said an arrest following a shooting on Nov. 4 at a Lexington night club was an example of that.
Police arrested Demetrius "Demetrics" Flynn shortly after the shooting and charged him with two counts of first-degree assault for allegedly shooting Jarred Allen Grider and Brooks D. Richardson outside Silks Lounge, 125 North Mill Street. Flynn was indicted on the charges last month.
Task Force members responded quickly to that shooting and were soon "able to locate and identify the suspect in that incident," she said.
Much of the success in tackling the violence was putting officers on the streets where the shootings were happening, Curless said.
With the situation under control, "meaning the folks are in jail who are responsible for a number of the acts, we will now back off some of the tactics and some of the presence in the neighborhoods," Bastin said.
To keep the violence from re-surfacing, police will remain in close contact with neighborhoods where the shootings occurred. A positive result of the increased police presence was more community support, "information and dialogue" with residents.
"We feel we have a stronger position in the community to be more aware of what is going on," he said.
Residents were reluctant to talk to police at first, fearing retaliation, Bastin said. That changed when people began to see the community's commitment, and "the commitment by the government and division of police. People did begin to come forward and we received much more information."
Mayor Jim Gray reiterated during the news conference that the shooting outside Silks Lounge was a random act, and that the decrease in gun violence in recent weeks has been the result of "a real vigorous surge of enforcement by our police in a very vigorous way."
Gray, who lives downtown, only a few blocks from where many of the shootings took place, assured Lexington residents that the city is a safe place to live.
The police may dial back their presence somewhat, Gray said, but that does not mean police are "relaxing" their vigilance.
"It means being continuously vigorous in the pursuit of any criminal activity in our city, wherever it is," he said.