The Camden Police Department (CPD) is seeking the public’s help in determining exactly who fired shots at a group of people after a child was dropped off by a school bus on Chesnut Street west of Broad Street between 2 and 3 p.m. Tuesday.
CPD Chief Joe Floyd was actually conducting a meeting with members of his department and other law enforcement agencies about dealing with recent shooting incidents when the call came in for Chesnut Street on Tuesday afternoon.
“We were trying to plan strategies to calm these shootings down,” Floyd said during a telephone interview Thursday morning. “We appear to have two groups of people that are cross with one another shooting into houses.”
Floyd said the meeting was to help not only determine what was going on, but who was involved so that everyone connected to the recent shootings -- including on Hampton and Cooper streets -- can be arrested.
The chief said this is what he and the other agencies were talking about when Tuesday’s call came in.
“It was down from (Boykin) park in an area where a bus drops off students. There were some men there waiting for the bus when a vehicle came up behind the bus and starting shooting at the men. No one was hit, no one was injured,” Floyd said.
He said one child -- who was not a target -- had gotten off the bus when the shooting began.
Floyd said officers have information about the car involved, but not about the people in the car.
“We’re working leads,” he said, adding that he hoped one would work out later Thursday. “We have been in the neighborhood, talking with a lot of people who are concerned about what’s going on.”
However, the chief said not a lot of people are willing to talk. That’s why he’s not cancelling Saturday’s “Police in the Park” event -- the first for 2019 -- at Boykin Park. It will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. While none of the recent shootings have actually taken place in the park itself, it is a focal point for the neighborhood and close to the shooting sites.
“It’s important to the people there,” Floyd said. “They’re afraid. I’m hoping that knowing we’re going to be there with them -- that we’re not going to allow a perception that we’re abandoning them to exist -- will help.”
Floyd said he hopes that the event will not only help residents know that officers are there for them, but perhaps allow at least one person to come forward with information about the most recent shooting on Chesnut Street.
Anyone with information can call the CPD -- anonymously, Floyd emphasized -- at (803) 425-6025.