Police chief: ‘Some of the crimes are possibly related’

By MALLORIE McILWAIN

mmcilwain@sungazette.com

Special for The Express

WILLIAMSPORT –Together, city Mayor Gabriel Campana, city Police Chief Damon Hagan and Sherman D. Shadle, state Police Captain of Troop F in Montoursville, gathered at City Hall to answer questions and give further details about recent violent acts in Williamsport on Tuesday. Hagan said that some of the crimes are possibly related but did not comment on which of the crimes could be. That is still under investigation.

“I’m not going to comment on which ones and I’m not going to comment on gang activity. It’s part of our investigation and the relation is also under investigation,” he said.

Campana, Hagan and Shadle have been focused on the recent incidents and focusing on investigating and finding each suspect.

“As you all know we have had a number of incidents, recently shootings, and we are here to talk about that and the implications it has had on our community,” Hagan said.

The incidents being the five shootings that happened on Maple Street on July 17, the homicide on West Fourth and Elmira streets on July 24, a juvenile victim was shot on Almond Street on July 28, a homicide of a juvenile on July 30 and the most recent homicide at the Uni-Mart on West Fourth on Sunday.

With patience, hard work and determination, city and state police have been working with investigators and agents to find out who has been perpetrating these incidents.

“I ask for your patience regarding these matters, the investigations are complex and they require all of our skills and abilities,” Hagan said. “Captain Shadle has been a great help to the city in this time of need. We have used the state police and local law enforcement agencies as partners. We are working cooperatively with federal, state and local officials on all of these investigations. I do expect them to be closed and cleared by arrests in the future.”

Hagan added that Tuesday morning the investigation of the Uni-Mart shooting had been completed with the arrest of the suspect, Ikeem Fogan, 21.

“I am happy to report the identification of the suspect, Ikeem Fogan and his arrest was made early hours this morning. He is in custody as we speak,” he said.

“I want to reassure the public that our great city will be fine — we will get through this, we will arrest these perpetrators, we will continue to keep the city safe. We have this under control,” Campana said.

Though there is no specific date in mind for when these investigations will be completed, Chief Hagan is confident that the city police team, the state police and the criminal investigative unit are going to get to the bottom of the crimes at hand.

“You have my word, we are going to catch the others involved in these crimes,” he said.

With the Little League World Series starting soon, there were concerns about how the police were going to assure the safety of the players, their families and the locals that visit the games.

“With Little League coming up, I know there are concerns about safety but I want to assure that all of our citizens that everything that can be done is being done,” Hagan said.

“Every single day we will have a lot of officers there at Little League with additional patrols,” Shadle added. “We feel pretty comfortable that we will have enough police presence that people should feel safe in this area.”

The start of school is also coming up and city police have explained that there is more student and family connection with resource officers from the full-time officer in the high school and the part-time patrol officer that goes to other local schools in the area. This year, they have completed evaluations and are getting better communication equipment in case an incident were to occur according to Hagan.

Hagan, the city and state police still have investigations to complete but they along with Mayor Campana left the conference with a note to those who have committed crimes or those who may commit one in the future.

“One death is too many in our community,” Campana said. “A message that I would have for potential criminals is that, we are committed to putting a stop to this nonsense. We don’t want you here.”

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