Springfield Police Department sees rise in gun violence, reports of shots fired
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The Springfield Police Department sees a significant increase in gun violence and shots fired calls this year.
In 2021, there were 294 shots fired reports. So far, in 2022, there have been 159.
Springfield resident Barbara Eubanks says she’s noticed the increase in her neighborhood.
”It’s gotten a whole lot worse. I mean, just this year, it’s gotten a whole lot worse since the first of the year,” Eubanks says.
Eubanks has lived in Springfield her entire life.
For the last four years, she’s lived near Kearney and National.
Eubanks says she hears gunshots in her neighborhood multiple times a week, with the latest one being Monday night.
“I heard a pop pop pop, and I first thought it might have been the guys working on that house down there using an air nailer, but then I got to thinking that it didn’t even sound like an air nailer,” Eubanks says. “It sounded more like pop pop pop of a gun.”
The Springfield Police Department’s 2021 shots fired heat map shows her home falls into one of those hotspots.
“I don’t think that we have the security of feeling comfortable being outside at night now,” Eubanks says. “I hate that because we’ve always, always sat on our porches no matter where we lived. It’s changing my lifestyle, and I don’t like that.”
Springfield Police Chief Paul Williams says there’s an increase in guns stolen from cars and houses.
That’s why Chief Williams urges gun owners to take proper care of their firearms.
“If you have one, lock it up when you’re not using it,” Chief Williams says. “Keep it secure. Don’t make it available to a criminal, and certainly don’t make it available to you or someone else who may in a fit of anger or rage, reach for that firearm and create another issue.”
|YEAR||# SEIZED GUNS|
“Those are guns seized by our investigators and patrol officers when they come across someone who has committed a criminal act or during the course of some type of activity of not being responsible with that gun,” Chief Williams says.
Eubanks says it’s not the same Springfield she grew up in.
“I love Springfield, but we’re seriously talking about moving back to Oklahoma because of all of the crime in this area,” Eubanks says.
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