SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The Springfield Police Department is noticing a trend of increased gunfire in the city, and investigators say they believe there are connections between several incidents that happened between Friday, February 11 and Monday, February 14.

Four people were shot Friday evening, Springfield Police were called twice to the same location Sunday night because of gunshots and there was a deadly shooting Sunday at an apartment complex. Monday, someone was shot in the leg while they slept. Major Stacey Parton with the Springfield Police Department says they are getting a call about shots fired nearly once a day.

“It’s not only a concern to us but also to the community,” said Parton. Parton says the police need the public’s help in solving why this trend is happening.

“We do believe now and the more that we investigate we are beginning to identify trends and patterns,” said Parton. However, there are still pieces of the puzzle that are missing.

“One of the stumbling blocks that we run into with these cases is lack of victim cooperation,” said Parton. “They tend to want to take care of it themselves and that, unfortunately, leads to more violence.”

Parton says the department is investigating these cases aggressively and are revealing more connections and patterns. According to the Springfield Crime Map, shootings are showing up all over the city.

“If you look at the crime map where gunshots are fired it’s a lot of places,” said Parton. “It’s spread throughout the city, various days of the week, and various times of the day.”

As far as whether or not gang activity is the cause of this escalation Parton said the following:

“As we know Springfield is more of a hybrid gang city. We don’t have the Bloods and Crips that we traditionally see in Kansas City, St. Louis, and Chicago. But we do have gang members that are involved in criminal activity and they continue that from wherever they came from. They bring that with them. It’s a part of the makeup of the criminals but that doesn’t necessarily drive the criminal activity.”

Parton says the police can’t solve cases on their own. They need victim cooperation and the public to help the police gather all the missing puzzle pieces.

“We don’t do this by ourselves. We can’t do this by ourselves,” said Parton. “I don’t want to put everything on the victims but when the victims do not cooperate and they have their own beliefs system that drives that decision whether or not they are going to cooperate with law enforcement. But without a victim, it is difficult to prosecute in a crime that requires it by the very statutory requirement where you have to have a victim to come forward. It definitely hampers our efforts.”

Parton also says these cases are not turf wars but more of retaliation acts.

“When both sides of the party are armed, there is that reaction to go to…firearms faster,” said Parton. “We are active. We are actively working on these cases, but the eyes and ears of the community is what we want and need.”

There is the possibility that since it is easier to obtain guns that this is what is causing the increase in shootings in Springfield, but that’s not the only reason.

“If guns weren’t so readily available there wouldn’t be as many incidents where guns were used improperly. There is not that much regulation and there is not as much training. However, to be honest, in most of these incidents, these types of people probably wouldn’t participate in those types of classes. These are persons that have a propensity for criminal acts.”

Major Stacey Parton, SGF Police Department

According to Parton, police are searching for who is behind these recent crimes and have leads they are actively investigating. One thing the community can do to help police is to continue to communicate with officers.

If you have any information regarding shootings in Springfield you can call the Springfield Police Department or if you want to stay anonymous you can call Crime Stoppers.