By Erica Wright
The Birmingham Times
Those shot have ranged from age five to adulthood, including the killing of a 32-year-old, in a deadly week of bloodshed, that even Birmingham police are calling “unimaginable acts of violence.”
Since Saturday, seven people have been lost to gun violence and more than 10 wounded, according to police.
On Thursday, Police Chief Patrick Smith said in a briefing that the “the city has been completely devastated as we’ve witnessed unimaginable acts of violence committed against members of our community.”
Smith said he stood before the public with “a very heavy heart” but a “spirit of determination and resolve.”
“I want the family members to know this department is going to do everything we can to resolve every single act and bring justice for each and every victim,” he said from Birmingham Police headquarters downtown.
He said the police will not accept the violence and the community should not either.
“I need the community to step up and work with this department and I need you to share your thoughts, video and everything you’ve seen as it relates to each and every one of these instances. We cannot do this without you,” he said.
Smith referenced the Easter Sunday shooting at W.C. Patton Park that claimed the life of 32-year-old Areyelle M. Yarbrough and injured five others between the ages of 21 and 5.
“She was simply there to be with family or friends and have a great time… we are asking the community to provide us the additional leads that we need, the additional videos, pictures and information they might have to bring these individuals to justice,” he said.
Since that shooting, several entities including the Jefferson County Commission, Birmingham Urban League and comedian and native Rickey Smiley have offered more than $24,000 for information in the shooting.
Smith pledged that persons responsible for the Yarbrough murder and other acts of violence would be brought to justice.
“Our detectives and our officers are proactively working diligently to gather leads and prevent crime,” he said. “We’ve made progress in several of the areas and several cases and multiple arrests have been made, however we remain steadfast in our efforts to bring the families affected a sense of comfort and some form of justice as we work through each and every case.”
Anyone with information about the crimes is urged to call BPD at 205-254-1764 or call Crime Stoppers at 205-254-7777.