Dallas police are shuffling resources again to combat a spike in drive-by shootings that the police chief blames on gang warfare, often fueled by social media, reports the Dallas Morning News. So far this year, 122 drive-by shootings have been reported, compared with 49 during the same period last year, says Interim Police Chief David Pughes. In January, three people were wounded in a drive-by shooting. The next month, a teenager was shot in the head when gunfire from two cars struck an SUV. In April, a 22-year-old was fatally shot while watching street racers.
Police and community leaders believe gang and drug activity are to blame for many of the drive-by shootings. “We’ve seen instances in which there is a gang war that takes place on social media where one gang is challenging another gang,” Pughes said. “That ultimately ends up in a drive-by shooting.” Police say crime overall in the city is at a historic low. The past three years have had the lowest number of reported crimes since the 1960s. Nonviolent crime — which includes home burglaries, shoplifting and theft — is lower this year compared with last year. Violent crimes such as aggravated assaults and business robberies are on the rise, police say. This year, Dallas police have investigated 1,775 aggravated assaults, including the drive-by shootings they find so worrisome. That’s 300 more than at the same time last year.