Statesville City Council had a standing room only crowd Monday night at its only January meeting. Following an update by Police Chief Joe Barone on the shootings and other crimes in Statesville, nine individuals spoke about crime, safety and other related matters, including the father of the nine-year old girl who was shot earlier this month. Barone’s comments are attached.
In response, Statesville City Council members C.O. Johnson and Doris Allison spoke concerning the need for the Statesville Police Department to get involved in Police and Community Together (PACT); Council member Michael Johnson said the Police needed to have higher wages; and Council member Steve Johnson asked that Barone come back with a plan and costs to address the crime problem.
David Richardson was appointed to the Historic Preservation Commission.
All of the agenda items were approved. There were no tie votes in the regular meeting.
***End of press release***
A copy of Chief Barone’s prepared remarks appear below
“Mayor and Council,
“Thank you for the opportunity to address you and the public tonight about the recent shootings and criminal activity in Statesville.
“Even though I have talked with most of you, have met with a variety of community members and spoken with the media, I am particularly glad to have this opportunity tonight to address a large number of people at one time. I hope this update will help you and others grasp all the different facets of the investigation.
“The police department has worked with numerous law enforcement agencies on many of the recent shootings. But on the morning of January 9, after I was called in to investigate the shooting of a nine- year old girl, this collaborative effort took a very serious turn. Immediately, I contacted the Iredell County Sheriff’s office, the SBI and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and
Explosives. They arrived that morning and have been of tremendous help ever since.
“This multi-agency initiative has brought in many people, resources and connections that have hastened the investigation. Our partnership with the Davie County Sheriff’s office and the exchange of information resulted in the arrest of Enrico Dewoine Heggins, a suspect who is extremely significant to our investigation of the Statesville shootings. With the help of state and federal agencies, we have been able to get evidence processed much quicker and lab results returned in days or weeks instead of months or years. Everyone working this case wants to get the culprits.
“Because the shootings in Statesville are also tied with shootings in the county and surrounding areas, we have a great deal of evidence to review and many people to question. I am very grateful to these other agencies, as well as the Statesville police officers, who are working around-the-clock. We are planning to boost this initiative by hiring additional part-time officers with the experience and training to focus primarily on this investigation. All of our recently hired basic law enforcement training officers are onboard, but there is much to be gained by having added experienced personnel.
“I am committed to handling this case professionally and competently so that the arrests will hold up in court. We want a successful prosecution. And I am also committed to keeping you updated with what information I can, as I can, without compromising the integrity of the case. As of today, I want to reiterate that we are using a multi-agency initiative with dozens of law enforcement officers working these cases.
“In order to maintain the integrity of the cases under investigation, I am compelled to refrain from giving any other details about the investigation. Everyone in this room wants the same outcome – a peaceful community where our citizens feel safe. We ask again that the public share with us any information you have about these shootings and crime.”
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