Rockford violence this week reminds residents of Chicago Prohibition and the Wild West shootouts

Public safety programs like Weed and Seed and Cops on the Dots were supposed to reduce crime. The shootings that occurred in Rockford on Monday and Tuesday of this week seem to belie our public safety statistics that crime is decreasing. Overall crime may have decreased, but violent crime seems to be increasing!

Reading about the recent violent shootings right here in River City, one is reminded of Chicago’s Al Capone during prohibition or the untamed Wild West.

Monday, police were investigating a shooting at the intersection of Johnston Avenue and Mulberry Street with 13 shell casings from two different weapons. Glass was found in the intersection and police surmised a vehicle’s window may have been shot out.

It was the second time in three weeks multiple shots were fired at this intersection. The gunfight that took place the first time was between the occupants of two vehicles driving down the street exchanging fire. No arrests have yet been made.

Monday evening several shots were fired at about 10:50 PM in the 4400 block of Trevor Circle. Witnesses told police that as many as seven shots were fired after an argument. A small red car fled the scene at high speed.

Tuesday, police were investigating the shooting of four men after three suspects opened fire on their vehicle on Kishwaukee street at 12:40 AM. One of the perpetrators fired two handguns as he stood in front of the convenience store, like Billy the Kid. The other two men fired on the vehicle from the other side of the street.

Later Tuesday at 10 PM, two men in their mid-twenties sitting outside a residence were struck by gunfire. One of the men was hit in the leg, the other in the leg and hand. The shots were fired from directly in front of the residence. The number of shots was unknown.

There were 21 murders in Rockford last year. Thus far in 2011 there have been 12 murders in five months and according to the FBI statistics for 2010, Rockford had the fourth highest aggravated assault rate per capita in the country.

It seems the thin blue line that stands between our law-abiding citizens and the criminals is getting a lot thinner.