It's 'raining shots' on Brandon streets, Crown attorney warns
Brandon mayor calls statement sensational
A recent string of shootings in Brandon is a sign that the drug trade is getting out of control in the city, a federal Crown attorney told the court during a bail hearing for a man accused in a drug bust.
"I don't know what is going on in Brandon lately, but all hell is breaking loose," federal Crown prosecutor Christina Cheater told court. "There's no other way of putting it. People are raining shots out into the streets."
"It is not safe out there right now," she added during the Tuesday bail hearing.
Her comments came days after another house was shot at on Monday — the fourth shooting in the city in less than a month. The house, located in the 300 block of Russell Street, was vacant at the time of the shooting.
But Brandon police say they aren't yet able to positively link a string of shootings in the city to drugs.
In response to the attorney's comments, Brandon police released a statement Thursday that they are conducting a thorough investigation of the shootings. They have made arrests and seized guns used in all of the shootings except for the one on Monday.
Brandon mayor responds
"I was certainly a little surprised and I guess disappointed that a member of the crown would make such a broad and alarming pronouncement about the overall safety of our community," Brandon Mayor Rick Chrest said Thursday. "I just felt it was a little more of a broad and sensational statement."
Even though there have been four shootings in less than a month in the Wheat City, Chrest contends Brandon is still a safe community.
"Brandon has always been a very safe community, we believe it continues to be a safe community," Chrest added. "We think that we're going to have the matter under control in swift order."
"People need to watch out for themselves no matter where you live," said Chrest.
Incidents not random
On Sept. 17, three people were charged after they allegedly stole a dog, assaulted a woman and fired a shotgun inside a downtown home.
Then on Sept. 24, a man was charged with attempted murder after a man was shot in the torso, also downtown.
A day later, on Sept. 25, 30 bullets rained down on a home in the city's east end. A woman was inside at the time but wasn't hurt.
Police stressed that all four incidents do not appear to be random.
"Police would like to reassure the public that these recent shootings were not random and were targeted at specific residences for reasons unknown," the police release said, adding that Brandon isn't immune to drugs.
Police also seized three firearms during traffic stops, the statement read.
The bail hearing on Tuesday involved a man who is alleged to have been involved in a drug bust at a city hotel in August where cocaine, methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia were seized by police.
He was released from police custody on a promise to appear in court, against the Crown's wishes. He was arrested last week for allegedly breaching his probation.
A judge denied the man bail and remanded his charges to two dates later this month.