Investigators: rival groups the source of recent shootings - abc27 WHTM

Dauphin County

Investigators: rival groups the source of recent shootings

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Memorial for homicide victim Robert Burris Memorial for homicide victim Robert Burris

The 1400-block of Vernon Street in South Allison Hill was turned into a virtual war zone over the weekend, and investigators say it's the result of retaliation of rival groups.

District Attorney Ed Marsico said the killing of 20-year-old Robert Burris was connected to a shooting several weeks ago on Chestnut Street. The victim in that case survived, police said. Two teenagers, Jonathan Ramsey and Justin Clark, were charged Monday as adults for the killing.

Marsico said the shooting of 20-year-old Jordan Reid Sunday that occurred less than a block from where Burris was killed is being investigated as another possible revenge crime. Reid is currently recovering from his wounds. No arrests have been made in that case.

Police sources tell abc27 it appears there is a rivalry between at least two groups in the Allison Hill and Uptown neighborhoods, and that young men are often smoking "wet" prior to the shootings. "Wet" is the combination of marijuana dipped in PCP and can cause a dangerous high, according to police.

Monday, Mayor Linda Thompson re-introduced last year's "safety zones," closing off the area of 19th and Bellevue streets for one week. There will also be ten officers assigned to patrol the area around the safety zone. She said other high crime blocks near Derry and Market streets will become the focus of police patrols over the next few weeks.

Thompson also said she is eagerly awaiting the arrival of crime cameras to the city. Marsico said that should happen within the next two months.

"I'm sure the Mayor's frustrated with the pace of that, but we wanted to make sure for the type of money we're spending that we went through a competitive bidding process and have a system that's going to last well into the future."

The cameras are being funded through a grant obtained by the Dauphin County District Attorney's Office. The up-front cost is more than $200,000, Marsico said.

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