The Lake City Police Department (LCPD) is searching for suspects in a spate of gun-related incidents that injured three people, including two teenagers, in recent days.
LCPD released details of the incidents in a bulk announcement Tuesday afternoon. Most recently, dispatchers sent officers to NE Martin Luther King Jr. Street to investigate a reported shooting Monday evening. Officers found a 16-year-old male suffering from a gunshot wound to the leg.
"The victim could not advise how he was shot, only that he had observed a black car in the area prior to being shot," LCPD reported.
First responders administered first aid and transported the teen to the hospital.
LCPD also reported on three incidents of gunfire on New Year's Eve.
The first occurred Friday afternoon near the intersection of NE Aberdeen Avenue and NE Denver Street, where responding officers found two vehicles struck by gunfire. Witnesses said the incident began when a 10-year-old and a 15-year-old got into an altercation. After family members of the 10-year-old joined in fighting the 15-year-old, the teen retrieved a handgun from a vehicle and opened fire, according to LCPD.
"Later that afternoon, a family member of the 10-year-old showed up at the Emergency Room with a bullet wound to the foot," the police department reported.
The victim told medical staff he had been in the area of NE Aberdeen Avenue and NE Martin Luther King Jr. Street—which is a block north of NE Denver Street—talking with friends when he heard gunfire. He said he went to get into his vehicle and felt pain in his foot, realizing he had been shot.
The same afternoon, officers responded to reports of gunfire on NE Leon Street. They found shell casings and witnesses who saw people shooting at each other, but LCPD said no one has filed reports of injuries or damage sustained during the altercation.
Friday evening, police responded to reports of an injured person on NW Alma Street, where they encountered "a 15-year-old male who advised he struck a .22 caliber bullet with a hammer causing it to fire and fragments to go into his hand. The victim was transported to the emergency room for treatment."
LCPD is asking any member of the public with information related to any of these incidents to call investigators at 386-752-4343.
"We're hoping to get some witness cooperation," LCPD spokesman Greg Burnsed said in an interview. "That's what always holds us back. There will be 10-15 people standing around, but they want to remain anonymous, or no one saw anything."
Burnsed said the department has engaged in community outreach efforts and increased patrols in response to a recent rise in shootings in certain parts of the city.
"The city council last night approved purchase of more cameras that will be put on public property in these areas," Burnsed said.