WORCESTER, MASS. (WHDH) - Worcester Police Chief Steven M. Sargent issued a statement Monday decrying the city’s recent surge in street violence.

Seventeen non-fatal shootings involving 18 victims have occurred within the city so far this year. A 31 percent increase in incidents and a 29 percent increase in number of victims when compared to a three-year average, according to the statement.

That average sat at 14 incidents and 16 victims for this point in the calendar year, Sargent said.

This comes as investigators work to gather details about a fatal shooting that took place early Monday morning.

Officers responding to a reported shooting at a multi-family home on King Street just after 5:30 a.m. found a 31-year-old man suffering from gunshot wounds, according to Worcester police.

The victim, whose name has not been released, was transported to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Sagent wrote that the department has charged 26 people with unlawful carrying of firearms so far this year.

For comparison, officers made 37 similar arrests in all of 2019.

The Worcester Police Latent Print Unit has processed 35 firearms recovered in crimes this year.

“While these statistics are alarming, I want to assure the Worcester community that the police department is committed to providing the resources needed to address recent shootings,” Sargent said.

In response to the uptick, the department and the office of City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. met last week to develop a plan to reduce crime in the long and short term.

Augustus plans to hold a second meeting this week to discuss policing strategies and crime prevention efforts.

In the interim, patrols have been directed to identified hot spots and specialized units to areas that have seen a recent uptick in activity, according to the statement.


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