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Detroit Mayor: Lack of ShotSpotter Cost Cops Time in Mass Shooting

The lack of ShotSpotter coverage cost Detroit police an early start in detecting and stopping a serial shooter, but they touted their daylong scramble to marshal technical and community resources that resulted in an arrest of a man accused of randomly shooting four people, killing three, the Detroit News reports. Crime analysts obtained video from Project Green Light, the city’s business surveillance camera system, to identify a suspect and publicize his photo. That brought in tips that led to an arrest by Sunday night, more than half a day after the shootings began, police said. The shootings took place between 4:45 a.m. and 7:10 a.m. within blocks of each other.


Earlier this summer, City Council delayed a vote on expanding the ShotSpotter system, leaving the area around the first shooting uncovered. “Think about this: Had the Detroit Police Department had a ShotSpotter notice at 4:45 a.m. on a Sunday morning a mile and a half from the 12th Precinct, police officers would have been on that site immediately,” Mayor Mike Duggan said. But City Council President Mary Sheffield called that “hypotheticals of using yet another unproven reactionary tool to try to prevent gun violence,” advocating instead a focus on the root causes of violence.

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