Police: Gun violence increasing in Green Bay

Published: Aug. 25, 2020 at 5:02 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Green Bay Police are growing concerned about a steady increase in gun violence in the city this year.

This comes as police have responded to at least three incidents with gunshots since Thursday.

Shelves are filled with boxes in the evidence room of the Green Bay Police Department, containing dozens of guns officers have confiscated in the past year and a half.

“I was surprised by the number of guns we have in evidence... 98 total that we took in this year, and we’re what, August 25th?” says Green Bay Police Commander Paul Ebel.

He says it fits the trend of increasing gun-related calls in the city.

Police responded to 26 shots-fired calls in all of 2019.

So far this year, they’ve had 38 calls involving gunfire.

That includes everything from homicides to shots fired in the air with only shell casings found lying around.

“Some of the shootings that we’ve reported in that 38 are self-inflicted or accidental where a friend is with somebody and they accidentally touch off a round, or somebody is putting a gun in their pocket and they shoot themselves in the leg,” says Ebel.

But far more of them have criminal intent, he says, and it’s the motive behind them that’s grounds for their concern.

“Some of them are disrespect. Some are old grudges. Some of them involve drugs, boyfriend-girlfriend, ex-boyfriend, ex-girlfriend. It runs the gamut of everything,” says Ebel. “But it’s concerning because people are resorting to gun violence without calling the police or just deescalating the situation and leaving.”

Police have made arrests or have suspects in several cases, but others are still under investigation.

With the gun calls happening all across the city, police say neighbors need to take note.

“I think it’s something that we all have to be concerned about, because you don’t want to be firing a gun in the city,” adds Ebel. “We’re densely populated, and quite frankly, the guns should not be pulled out unless your life is threatened.”

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