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Valley law enforcement to launch new approach to gun violence investigations

Posted at 10:23 PM, Jun 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-22 07:55:10-04

PHOENIX — Endless stories of how rampant gun violence in the Valley has upended lives have led area law enforcement to launch a new enforcement effort.

Earlier this month, nine people were shot at a party at 10th Avenue and Hatcher Road. Police said a handgun was fired into a crowd after an argument.

The ages of the victims range from 14 to 24. A 14-year-old named Emily Morgan died from her injuries at the hospital.

No suspect information has been released.

”It makes me want to cry. (I) felt a little bit of pain for them,” said Jay Rosé, who lives down the street.

The same night of that mass shooting, 15-year-old Damarkus Edison was shot and killed just four blocks away, at 14th Avenue and Hatcher.

Nicole Walter is his aunt who said the teen who loved dirt bikes and working on cars never got the chance to even have a driver’s license.

“He was a great big brother, he was a gentleman. He was all the things a little boy should be,” said Walter.

We’re told Edison walked up to a car near his home in the area and got shot.

On the night of the shooting, Walter says police left quickly to respond to nine others shot just blocks away.

“His [investigation] got maybe an hour tops,” said Walter.

Now as the family makes plans to lay Edison to rest, they say they haven’t heard anything from police about identifying who took his life.

“Justice. Getting whoever did this,” said Walter.

The unsolved gun violence cases have community leaders taking notice.

Phoenix police, county prosecutors, and ATF are planning to launch a multi-faceted approach to enforcing gun violence.

Details will be unveiled Wednesday morning but ABC15 has learned Phoenix police and ATF are aiming to speed up how they work together to get faster results.

That includes ballistics testing on bullet casings typically found after a shooting.

Some neighbors in the area of these two shootings from the same night would like to see more community policing.

”You have to get involved. It’s more than just wearing a badge,” said Rosé.

A Gofundme has been set up to help Edison's family with funeral costs.