SELMA, AL (WSFA) - A string of shootings in Selma has left one dead and others wounded and caused damage across the city. One man has been charged with murder and additional arrests are anticipated as investigators work overtime to solve the cases.
"We had several shootings over the weekend. Unfortunately, we had one death. We had two other victims shot at different locations. All unrelated to each other," said Selma Police Chief John Brock.
The first shooting happened at 12:30 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 17 on Etheredge Avenue. A 21-year-old woman was shot in the arm near Ford's Grocery.
"A lady was at a family function. Several guys walked up the function and started shooting into the crowd," Chief Brock said.
She was taken to Vaughn Hospital for treatment.
Around 1:30 a.m., a 55-year-old man was spotted staggering and bleeding as he walked down LL Anderson Avenue between Franklin and Green Streets. A passerby stopped and saw gunshot wounds to his arm and took him to Vaughn Hospital's emergency room. He was later airlifted to a Tuscaloosa hospital for further treatment.
"A passerby stopped to check on him, found out that he'd been shot and took him to the hospital," the chief said. "That victim has been very uncooperative. We don't know much about that shooting because he was not cooperative at the hospital, plus he is in Tuscaloosa."
The victims from Etheredge Avenue and LL Anderson Avenue were not identified.
Then around 2 a.m., a shootout in the 1200 Block of Alabama Avenue, near the police department, occurred. Several men got into an argument. The fight escalated as the men pulled out guns and they started firing at each other on Alabama Ave between Washington Street and Franklin Street, across from a local nightclub.
In the barrage of bullets, 30-year-old Lamont "Gucci" Chapman was shot in the leg and rushed to the hospital where investigators were briefly able to speak to him about the shooting before he passed away.
"The victim was alert and talking to the officers at the hospital. While doing some tests and moving him from one location of the hospital to another, he coded and died at the hospital," Chief Brock said. "We have a suspect in custody and we're looking for several other suspects. There were multiple people shooting multiple handguns and long guns at the scene."
Ronald Johnson, 27, of Selma, was charged with murder in the case on Saturday. He appeared in court Monday for his arraignment and his preliminary hearing has been set for Oct. 11. He is being held without bond in the Dallas County Jail.
"It was a shootout in the street, right near a corner. A lot of bullets flying, a lot of gunfire," said Dallas County District Attorney Michael Jackson.
Chief Brock says the violence didn't stop there.
"We had several incidents where buildings, houses, and cars were shot into. We're looking into that to see if they were related to the three other shootings," he explained. "All of the shootings are under investigation. It could have been a lot worse."
Those incidents happened at different locations in the city.
Just last week, Rep. Darrio Melton, one of the candidates for Selma mayor, came face-to-face with gunmen as he was leaving a fundraiser and shots were fired. Thankfully, no one was hurt.
Officials say a concerned citizen plans to offer a $5000 reward for information in that case that leads to an arrest and conviction.
They're asking the public for help gathering key details in the other recent crimes.
Anyone with information is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 1-866-44-7463 or the Secret Witness Line at (334) 874-2190.
"The only way a lot of this stuff is going to be solved is for people to communicate," Jackson said. "There's a lot of things happening in Selma. We're going to make sure this is not the Wild West. Some of these criminals have gotten bold again. So we need to let them know that no one is going to tolerate that here in Selma."
He says the local Violent Crimes Task Force is gearing up for another round of sweeps in the area, arresting wanted criminals. The efforts to combat gangs and crime in Selma and the surrounding area has been ongoing by local, state and federal agencies.
A lot of folks carrying guns, committing crimes and we're going to tackle this. Our task force is about to go all out. They're rounding up agents and officers. You can't wait to see what's going to transpire. We're trying to be proactive," the district attorney added. "It's about to be a complete crackdown again because things flare up with these gangs and their beefs and people get killed, innocent folks get shot."