Birmingham Police Department (BPD) officers had to respond to five shootings in the city over the weekend which resulted in 11 injuries and two deaths, continuing the violent crime epidemic plaguing the city since at least the beginning of 2022. 

According to the BPD, all but one of the shootings occurred when perpetrators targeted a victim. The other shooting resulted from an altercation at a local bar. 

“We are continuing to see violence used to resolve often simple disputes and conflicts,” said BPD assistant public information officer Truman Fitzgerald in a statement on Monday. “The Birmingham Police Department is committed to working together with the community to change this narrative.”

According to Neighborhood Scout, Birmingham’s crime rate is 20.5 per 1,000 residents. Of course, this statistic does not include municipalities in the Birmingham metro area, like Mountain Brook, which has a crime rate of 0.68 per 1,000 residents, and Vestavia Hills, which has a crime rate of just 0.62.

Last year, Birmingham experienced 144 homicides, several resulting from stray bullets fired in drive-by-shootings. Many of the victims were minors. 

Birmingham officials have previously stated that many homicides have resulted from altercations between people who knew each other. However, they’ve also suggested that the crime wave may be related to gang violence. 

After a spree of killings over Labor Day weekend, Birmingham Mayor Woodin called for gangs to “chill and put the guns down” in a Facebook post. In the same post, he named several gangs, specifically: H2K, 6500 boys, 420, TMSG and CPMG.

After Woodfin’s comment, a former agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) and current Calera Police chief David Hyche told WBRC the number of gangs in Central Alabama had increased over the last decade and lacked structure, thereby becoming “more fluid.”

As of late March, Birmingham already had at least 20 homicides in 2023, according to reports. It’s not clear what the current total is as the city nears the midway point of the year.

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