Wharton crime spree has residents on edge

June 24, 2013 3:52:33 PM PDT
Police are increasing their presence in one Wharton neighborhood where there have been multiple drive-by shootings and vehicles set on fire over the past few months.

Police say this crime wave has stumped them for nearly five months. They've seen drive-by shootings, cars set on fire, dogs killed, and it's all leaving a community on edge.

Rashelle Bruno showed us more than a half dozen bullet holes at her Wharton home. She says it's been sprayed with gunfire three times since February. The last time, earlier this month, she witnessed as she stood outside.

"I was looking at the whole thing, just shocked," she said. "Is this really happening?"

In one of the attacks two of Bruno's dogs were killed. She showed us the bullet holes just inches from where she and her boyfriend were in bed during another shooting. Someone she says also torched their car.

"We don't even know why," Bruno told Eyewitness News.

Police say there have been nine incidents since February -- shootings or arsons -- all either at Bruno's home or nearby. Police say they're somehow related. They're still working on determining how.

Wharton Police Captain Richard Coleman said, "We want to put an end to this thing just as much as they want to see it end."

Investigators have determined there are at least three groups attacking each other. They've doubled police patrols in the hope of making arrests but so far have been unable to stop the attacks. Those living nearby on Wharton's west side are fearful now of being inside their own homes, let alone going outside.

Concerned resident Burnell Neal said, "We need to stop it before someone loses their life. We need to stop it right now."

Residents have met several times with police.

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