The city of Springfield has officially matched the number of homicides from 2017 — 11 incidents with 12 victims — following the fatal shooting of a man at an apartment complex Sunday morning, according to information from police.
The city’s 12th homicide victim was identified as 23-year-old Antonio Moore of Springfield.
Raekwon Hall, 20, is accused of shooting and killing Moore Sunday morning at the Ronez Manor Apartment Complex. Hall was charged with murder in Clark County Municipal Court Monday. He pleaded not guilty to the charge and his bond was set at $100,000.
The Springfield Police Division provided data earlier this summer showing the city had counted 11 homicides as of July 22, compared to 12 in 2017.
Springfield Police, other law enforcement and community leaders have addressed the growing violence in various ways this summer.
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Springfield police held a Facebook Live to answer residents concerns about the violence and has participated in community forums. Police Chief Lee Graf did not respond to a request for comment Monday. He previously said in addition to the Facebook Live, the division has a Safe Streets Task Force and is working to recover stolen guns.
Springfield NAACP President Denise Williams has been involved in many community round tables and discussions about how to stop the violence in the city, but she said talking is getting old — and she’s ready to take more aggressive action.
“Nothing else has worked,” she said. “So why not try a weapons buy back program?”
Williams said the weapons buy back program would allow people to turn in weapons without any fear of punishment or judgment. She said the program would be a first for Springfield and has the preliminary support of Springfield Police, the Clark County Sheriff’s Office and the Clark County Prosecutor’s Office.
“If we get one weapon off the street, it’s better than getting none,” she said.
Springfield police began their investigation into Sunday’s homicide when they were called to 1932 Fred Jordan Drive for a shooting. There they found the victim in the parking lot with multiple gunshot wounds, an affidavit filed with the charges states.
“Officers located one witness who is the girlfriend of the victim and stated the victim had a gun and had been in her apartment and was pointing it and making threats towards her and witness (number) two, and at some point he was outside and an unknown subject shot him,” the affidavit says.
According to a 9-1-1 call, a neighbor ran outside after hearing four gunshots and tried to apply pressure to Moore’s wounds, but he was pronounced dead at the scene when emergency crews arrived.
Hall turned himself in to police Sunday morning at about 7:30 a.m., the affidavit states.
Ronez Manor resident Melinda White said the shooting happened right outside her front door, and her teenage daughter saw it all happen.
“You never want your kids to see violence like that — people killing people for no reason whatsoever at all and just the hate, the hate that people have anymore. It’s sad,” she said. “It’s scary to know the statistics and just how people don’t care about other people’s lives. It just don’t matter. It don’t matter,” White said.
Williams has given herself a timeline of 60 days from Monday to put together a team and see if the new idea would be feasible. The NAACP will be hosting a community forum to discuss the potential weapons buy back program on Sept. 27 at 6 p.m.
The location and more details about the public forum will be announced at a later date. Anyone from the community is invited to attend.
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