Local News

Drive-By Slayings Turn Neighborhood Into Shooting Gallery

Posted August 22, 2006

— Police spent much of Tuesday counting bullet holes and talking with witnesses after a shooting that left two men dead and a third wounded.

Shots fired at a moving SUV Monday night also peppered apartments near the intersection of Olivia Lane and Crawford Street, police said. The SUV then ran off the road and into some bushes outside the apartments.

Officers found the driver, 24-year-old James Croom, dead inside. Trasond Gerald, 20, a passenger in the vehicle, died later at Wayne Memorial Hospital.

A third victim, 18-year-old Otavis McKinnon, was walking down the street when he was struck by a bullet. He was transported to the hospital for treatment and was recovering at home Tuesday night.

Other bullets flew into nearby apartments. One pierced a window and hit a television next to a couch where a woman was sleeping.

"All we heard was gunfire while we were sitting on the porch," resident Willie Battle said. "We noticed there was a vehicle up on the curb. Where it came from, we don't know."

No residents were hurt in the shooting.

All three victims have criminal records, but police haven't discussed a possible motive in the case. Two suspects were being interviewed Tuesday evening, but no charges had been filed.

Residents said they've seen an increase in drug and gang problems in the area.

"It makes these folks around here very nervous about what's going on. There are two or three on this side (of the street) already talking about moving," Battle said.

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