Orlando Police Chief asking for public's help in stopping gang activity

The Orlando Police Chief blames gangs for the recent Carver Shores deadly shootings. He's asking for the public's help in stopping it.

OPD Chief Eric Smith said he’s cracking down on the teenage gang members charged for the deadly shooting in Carver Shores last week. 

According to investigators bullets went through the Poppy Avenue home, killing a 6-year-old girl and injuring her mother, during a drive-by shooting. 

He said it all started on social media. "A lot of it is live platforms where they’re arguing with each other. And unless someone lets us know something’s about to happen, we have no idea."

That’s why the Chief is encouraging people to speak out before a shooting occurs. He said there were a couple of drive-by shootings, before this one last week and believes the deadly shooting could have been prevented. 

"We are looking at ways to increase our presence in Carver Shores," said Chief Smith He wants to partner with companies that will provide cameras to residents in the neighborhood. "Give them out for free and help them protect themselves."

Commissioner Bakari Burns says it costs $350 per camera. He’s looking for a grant to help pay for them. He explains how there’s already a program for residents who have cameras. 

"Orlando Connect already knows you have a camera, and they can come to your residence." Commissioner Burns said cameras are approved for Poppy Park, where there was a deadly shooting on Easter. "It pains me to hear some of our senior citizens saying, Commissioner, we’ve never seen it like this." 

Chief Smith said, "I ride with patrol officers a lot. So when they check out Carver Shores I go and stay there and talk to the residents sitting on the porch." He tells us he’s been organizing neighborhood meetings and trying to help kids find a positive outlet. 

"A lot of these murders are committed by very young suspects and a lot are tied to gangs. So we need to make a difference in these children’s lives," said Chief Smith.  

A 19-year-old was also killed in the shooting, the Chief says his involvement is still under investigation.