LUBBOCK, Texas (KJTV) - Lubbock Police Chief Floyd Mitchell revealed new details about the shooting death of 14-year-old Dequavion Traylor in a news conference on Thursday afternoon.
The apartments where this shooting took place are near the Little League baseball fields where games have been disrupted several times by the sound of shots being fired. Chief Mitchell says there have been 155 calls to that apartment complex in the past two months, with nine of those being for shots fired.
Chief Mitchell says this was a planned assault and attempted robbery by people involved in the illegal sale of narcotics
Police have identified three other individuals, age 14, 17, and 24 who were in the apartment with the victim. Police believe they were the target of an attempted drug ripoff by rival gang members and engaged in a gun battle with the would-be robbers.
Officers were called just before 11:30 p.m. Wednesday to the Ella Apartments in the 1100 block of 58th Street for reports of shots fired. Traylor was found with a life-threatening gunshot wound and taken to University Medical Center where he was later pronounced dead.
Police are asking anyone with information to call Crime Line at 806-741-1000 or Det. Thomas Bonds at 806-775-1489. Callers could be eligible for a $5,000 reward.
Police say they’re increasing patrols and focusing resources in these “hot spots” identified by the Texas Anti-Gang Center.
Chief Mitchell says they have some promising leads in this case and hope to have suspects in custody soon.
“Our crime suppression unit, our gang unit and patrol officers have been targeting this area as well as others in attempt to combat the ongoing gang and drug problem. We have some promising leads in this case and hope to have the suspects identified in custody soon. We can’t win this battle alone. I’m asking for your help...the community’s help to bring these criminals to justice,” Mitchell said.
“I think the biggest, the most disturbing thing to me right now is the age of the individuals involved. We’re coming in contact and engaging these individuals that are in these hybrid gangs, and they’re getting younger and younger. And it’s absolutely no excuse for a 14-year-old to be involved in sale of guns and drugs, and have a gun on him and to be getting getting involved in a gun battle,” Mitchell said.
“We need our parents and our elders to step up. Because they know who these kids are. They see them, they know what they’re up to, they need to step up. Yank these kids’ chain and pull them back in the line. These are not older adults doing this. These are young kids that don’t know what the value of life is. They’re out there doing drug rips and getting into gun battles. We are truly lucky that no one innocent...got hit by any of the rounds that were discharged last night.”
“We are relying on those community elders, the grandmothers, the mothers, the fathers to help us in raising smart kids, and make sure they don’t get involved in this criminal activity.”
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