Greenville PD announces plan to stomp gang violence

Greenville PD: recent crime spike is gang-related

Greenville Police vowed Thursday night to arrest those responsible for several shootings since late December.

At a media conference, Chief Hassan Aden announced that effective immediately, the Greenville Police Department would have a 24-hour patrol plan, in which two patrol units would be placed in crime hot spots at all times.

There had been a spike in gun violence in Greenville since Dec. 21, police said. The crimes appeared to be gang-related and the victims were deliberately targeted. Several of the shootings seemed to be linked to an ongoing dispute, police said.

"My message to the citizens of Greenville is that violence, this violence is not random and is confined to certain neighborhoods," said Chief Hassan. "And my message to anyone partaking in this violence is we will find you and take you off the streets for a very long time."

Officer believed between 10 to 50 people were responsible for these violent crimes, including armed robberies, shootings and the murder of 36-year-old Anthony Antonio Johnson. He was found dead on the front yard of a duplex on 1232-B Westridge Court in Greenville Wednesday night. Police said he was shot several times.

Over the weekend, another shooting happened just two streets over from where Johnson was found shot to death. Terrance Smith allegedly robbed and shot a man at his home on Westgate Drive Saturday. Smith was arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and other charges.

"The people, there is a handful of people that we've identified that we believe that they represent a cancer on our community and our mission is to cut out that cancer and remove it from our community and make it safe," said Sgt. Joe Friday.

Greenville Police said they will work together with other agencies on the local, state and federal level to achieve their goal.

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