Another Longview Shooting, City Leaders Take Action - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

8/15/06-Longview

Another Longview Shooting, City Leaders Take Action

For the sixth time in 48 hours, South Longview is dealing with yet another shooting. Around five o'clock this morning police we're called to a "shots fired" report at a house on Walnut Street. 

Twenty-one-year old Mario Eli Conner has been arrested in that altercation and more arrests are expected.   Police say Conner shot at another man inside the home, identified as Terry Graham.

Graham was not hit, but did receive minor scrapes trying to get away. Police believe Connor then stole Graham's car. He's now being charged with Aggravated Robbery.  

The string of shootings have prompted city leaders to take action. "There is no city immune to this type of behavior," says Mayor Jay Dean.  And Longview is no exception.

With so much violence in such a short time, many are wondering what the city can do to stop it? City leaders say they have the answer.   

"We're going out from this chamber to the community. We're going to continue to talk to people and try to build that relationship. You know, we have to build a relationship between the community and the police department," the mayor says.

He also wants to implement a 5-year-plan that will increase the number of "feet on the street" by putting more cops in the neighborhoods.  "Rather than waiting till these events occur, what we want to do is be on top of the events before they take place," Dean says.

The city and the police are also working closely with the Longview Area Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance. They've already planned a prayer walk for later this month. 

Reverend Keven Johnson of the Longview Area Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance says, "what we plan to do is to go into various neighborhoods where a lot of crime has taken place and simply take dominion over those areas. It will help some of our individuals who are committing crimes to understand that there is a better way."

And the mayor says he hopes these efforts will eventually allow Longview citizens to..."sleep in peace in their home every night and not have to worry about waking up to you know shots going off in their neighborhoods."

And to take the community back block by block. "It's going to take a lot of good hard work and we're ready to do that," Dean says.

The Unity in the Community Reclaim Longview Prayer Walk is scheduled for Wednesday August 30. It will start at various apartment complexes at 6:30 and end at the Police Department's Community Resource office.  

Tracy Watler/Reporting: tracy@kltv.com.

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