Montgomery Police Chief Kevin Murphy is addressing the presence of gangs in the capital city following the Monday arrest of six men in connection with the city's 35th homicide.
Three men were charged with capital murder while the other three were arrested for conspiracy to commit murder. All were part of a gang that was shooting at members of another gang.
Chief Murphy was candid about saying the suspects, and those they shot, were all gang members. But he's not going so far as to say Montgomery has a gang problem.
The murder happened on August 12, a brutal battle between members of the two groups.
"Yes, they were gangs. They are gangs," Chief Murphy said, adding that officers have been aware of the groups for quite some time. Their names: "Crescent Road Heroz" and "D Block."
Court documents suggest members of "D Block" shot at members of "Crescent Road Heroz", but arresting those responsible for killing 19-year old Donatavious McCall took time.
"It was complex," Murphy said. "You could tell it wasn't a case that was solved in a day."
Chief Murphy says the groups are small and police are watching them. "I've often been asked if Montgomery has a gang problem and my feeling is this. If we weren't making any arrests, then I think we'd have a problem."
He says the issue of gangs is being addressed daily by all members of the police force. He says everyone in the department is aware of thee groups.
"It's time to stop," says west Montgomery resident Cynthia Bibb who does see a problem. She believes its starts at home. "Start being better parents," she says. "Find out who your children are hanging out with. You got a 17 or 18-year-old first and foremost, they need to be at home."
Bibb says the violence needs to end because it hurts more than just those involved, calling it "stupidity".
WSFA 12 News reached out to Central Alabama CrimesSoppers. Officials there say they have seen an increase in anonymous tips that involve teenagers and crime. They're working to get more conflict resolution training in schools.
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