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Sheriff, police chief announce partnership following string of shootings

A string of recent, gang-related shootings will result in staffing changes within two of Rowan County’s law enforcement agencies.

The Salisbury Police Department on Sunday announced it was partnering with the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office to combat crime within the city limits as a result of a “recent uptick in violent crime.” Salisbury Police Chief Rory Collins said the two law enforcement agencies have joined forces numerous times over the years, doing so when a need exists.

“The Salisbury Police Department will utilize every resource necessary to battle criminal activity that plagues its community and causes its citizens to live in fear,” Collins said in the news release. “Our adjustments to manpower allocations and the demonstration of teamwork between our agency and the sheriff’s office is only one example of that commitment.”

For the fourth night in a row, Salisbury Police on Saturday responded to a shooting incident. Police department spokeswoman Capt. Shelia Lingle confirmed no one was injured in the Saturday incident.

No one was injured in a Wednesday shooting. One person was injured in a Thursday shooting. Two people were injured in a Friday shooting.

In a shooting on Saturday, Sept. 12, two people were injured in a drive-by shooting near South Ellis and Thomas streets, near Salisbury High School. The Thursday and Friday shootings also occurred near Salisbury High School.

The Wednesday and Saturday, Sept. 19 shooting incidents occurred in a different area of Salisbury. Lingle said Saturday’s incident occurred near Park Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue. Wednesday’s shooting occurred one block away, according to police reports.

Demetrious Tyrone Lane, 25, has been arrested in connection with Wednesday’s shooting. Lane was charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, discharging a firearm in the city limits and fleeing to elude arrest.

A police officer observed Wednesday’s shooting as it happened and chased Lane. Lingle said an officer also observed the shooting on Saturday, Sept. 19 and chased a car carrying the suspected shooter. Lingle said officers haven’t yet arrested anyone in connection with Saturday’s shooting.

The Salisbury Police Department in Sunday’s news release confirmed recent incidents were gang-related and that suspects knew the victims.

“The police department is well-aware of the negative impact that violence has upon the quality of life for its citizens and the community as a whole,” the news release said. “In order to deal with this violence, the police department has implemented several adjustments to manpower allocations and have also added additional staffing to provide patrols and strong vigilance during strategically determined times.”

Part of the police department’s changes to deal with recent crime will be a partnership with the sheriff’s office.

“Criminal activity knows no boundaries and having our two agencies combine resources, and share information, will hopefully provide better services and better results for the citizens,”said Sheriff Kevin Auten in the news release.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246

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