Gulfport police work with community to investigate crime

Gulfport police work with community to investigate crime
Concerned citizens in Gulfport had the chance to voice their worries to police about neighborhood crime. (Photo source: WLOX)

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Concerned citizens in Gulfport had the chance to voice their worries to police about neighborhood crime, in light of two shooting deaths since the start of the week.

"It's disturbing. Something has to be done. Someone shoots in your house, I felt like I was back in Iraq," one resident said.

Gulfport resident Bob Krantz eagerly gave his input to police in the wake of disturbing crimes close to home.

"We have people shooting each other sitting in their cars and such. It caused me enough to become legally carrying," said Krantz.

Police Chief Leonard Papania said communication between police and the public has been essential in light of recent events.

"I'm not looking for people to say everything is unicorns and fairy dust. We need to be able to talk about what's going on and improve," said Papania. "Did you see how fast those investigations went? Good policing with a great community, people are really stepped up and reaching out. You know, all that snitch stuff? Not in Gulfport. People are doing really good cooperating with us." 

Police say eye witness accounts helped them pinpoint 19-year-old Deandre Dashawn-Antonio Ball as a suspect in the murder of Travues Martin. They are still asking for the public's help to find him.

"We're still looking. We'll continue to work hard until we have that man in custody, and he will have to answer to those crimes," Papania said.

Community members voiced concerns, wishing there were more police patrols. Police admitted recruitment of new officers has been an issue recently.

Gulfport citizens, like Krantz, say they're watching over their neighborhoods, ready to help.

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