On Wednesday, Tyler Police Investigators arrested a second suspect in connection to the murder of Briana Raquel Young, who was shot and killed in P.T. Cole Park on Tuesday, July 30. The suspect is identified as Dennis Montrell Bendy, 19, of Tyler.
Bendy surrendered to investigators at Tyler Police Department on Wednesday afternoon and was then transported to the Smith County Jail.
Police say Young was at the park with her 3-year-old son when she was caught in gang-related crossfire and killed.
"She was there allowing her child to play and visiting with friends and was basically there at the wrong place at the wrong time," said Don Martin, Public Information Officer for the Tyler Police Department.
This follows 20-year-old Rakheem Goldstein arrest on Monday.
Investigators believe Bendy and Goldstein were both in a car passing the park when they opened fire on members of a rival gang in the park.
"That's why our homicides are up is they are not afraid now to pull the trigger."
Tyler police said the shooting of Young has caused them to address the problem of gangs publicly.
Police said there are 12 predominant gangs in the city, in addition to smaller subgroups.
"They run the gamut of African American, Hispanic, to White," Martin said. "They run across the board for all races. There's not one more predominant than the other."
The news follows a community summit on Monday, calling on parents to keep their children on the right track.
"There's a lot of work to be done in Smith County," said Tyler resident Pearlie Henderson. "There is a lot of things to be done in homes, but this is a start. I'm going to challenge parents, especially young people, to try and pay more attention and train their children more."
Tyler police also said they are now taking major steps to help turn the problem around. The department has now received a grant from the Department of Justice, hiring another gang officer. They said they will also be gathering more intelligence on gangs and upping patrols.
"I don't think this is minor," said Martin. "I think this is something that again, the police department is putting a lot of effort into and the community wants and needs it. We're going to put as much emphasis and enforcement into it as we can."
Police told KLTV that data shows organized criminal activity is down in the last three years. There were only 26 instances of organized crime in 2012, down from nearly 50 instances in 2010.
Police added that while gang activity might not necessarily be on the uptick, criminals are more violent now, acting with less hesitation in committing violent crimes.
Bond for Bendy has been set at $1,000,000 by Judge Jack Skeen.
The case remains under investigation. Martin says police are seeking at least one more shooter.
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