I generally avoid crime-of-the-week coverage, but this crime has happened twice in Aberdeen in two weeks. First, on the night of Wednesday, August 31, someone fired multiple shots at the Rockford apartment building, just a couple blocks from my house here in the northwest part of town. Then just after midnight, Thursday, September 8, there was another drive-by shooting, with multiple shots fired at the Foxridge Apartments over on the east side.
The Aberdeen Police Department located a person of interest in the first shooting, Jason Aaron Elmore, age 36, and arrested him for a variety of drug charges and parole violation last week, but they have not announced any connection between Elmore and the first shooting. Yesterday the APD released video from surveillance cameras at Bethlehem Lutheran Church (I guess it’s not just God watching over us) showing a “vehicle of interest” that was in the church parking lot at the time of the September 8 shooting:
All I can say to aid the investigation is, it wasn’t me!
The shootings have injured no one. No evidence has reached the public of a pattern of personal targets; the shared scenario—both shootings in the dark, both on the same late-night work shift of late Wednesday/early Thursday, both involving multiple shots fired from outside at multiple apartments—suggests mere dangerous vandalism for kicks. City councilman Clint Rux thinks the shootings are drug-related.
For crazy numerical coincidence, consider this: the August 31 shooting involved eleven shots fired at 11:11 p.m. at 11th Avenue and North 2nd. The September 8 shooting involved “approximately 10 gunshots in quick succession” at 12:26 a.m…. and the digits of that time add up to 11. Hmmm… Pythagorean cultists at work?
One bullet in the Foxridge shooting went through a five-year-old girl’s bedroom window. Her dad is hoping to move into a new apartment by this weekend. Moving may remove the family from a place with a scary memory (and that’s all the reason a dad needs), but given the seeming randomness of the crime, it doesn’t seem one can say any one location in town is safer than another.
One neighbor recommends we all get firearms and “do some practicing.” Somehow I don’t think the sound of more target practice around town and more people walking around armed after eleven p.m. is going to stop this particular crime. Besides, we can’t really act on that recommendation, because didn’t Barack Obama take all of our guns away?
Even with a possible pattern developing, this is why I don’t like crime-of-the-week news stories. We speculate on fuzzy fragments of evidence, we work up fear, but we don’t really get solid recommendations for ongoing public policy. So we wait to see if the police find the eleventh (!) bullet at Foxridge or the joyriders taking potshots at rental units in Aberdeen.