AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The Amarillo Police Department is asking for the community’s help looking for a suspect after Monday’s string of drive-by shootings.
There have been a total of nine reported shootings in Amarillo since Saturday, including two deaths.
The victim who died in Monday’s drive-by in North Amarillo was identified on Thursday as Laura Etta Ashley, age 62. APD said Ashley had been shot while driving eastbound on NW 15th Avenue and was dead when officers arrived.
One other person was injured in a drive-by on Monday night, and three other victims were shot at in their cars. Police believe all five shootings that happened Monday are connected.
APD Public Information Officer Sgt. Carla Burr said people are on edge after this week’s shootings.
“We understand that. We’re on edge, too,” said Sgt. Burr. “We want to catch these people before, or this person, whoever it is, before anything happens to anyone else. It’s terrible and we’re concerned.”
The suspect vehicle in Monday’s five drive-by shootings is described as a dark-colored, four-door sedan with bright headlights.
“In those particular cases, it was following the people and from the information I got, they realize that they’re being almost like tailgated, and then the person came around them and fired at their car. So what we want people to do is, is pay attention.”
Sgt. Burr says if you see something, report it to the police.
“If they hear shots fired, if they see something that concerns them, if they see something that that they know is out of the ordinary, we want them to call, we’re going to come and investigate it.”
According to Sgt. Burr, calls of shots fired are common and APD always responds when called.
“Sometimes we do receive multiple calls and we don’t end up finding a victim and we don’t end up finding any damage” Sgt. Burr said. “But rest assured that if someone is injured, and they go to the hospital, even if we don’t find them there, we’re going the hospital is going to call us. You know in, in these cases where there’s actual injuries or damages, we make reports, we collect evidence, we collect the shell casings, we take pictures, it sometimes will even bring, you know, depending on how big the crime scene is, or how many injuries or if, especially if there’s a chance that someone injuries can be life-threatening, we bring our CSI unit out.”
She said all APD officers are trained to work a crime scene. While the forensic evidence could take months to sift through, it could turn up evidence that helps solve the case.
“Some of that stuff has to go to the lab and DPS in Austin,” she said.
She said no other shootings have been connected to the five drive-bys on Monday and asked people to confirm information with APD or a trusted news source before sharing it.
“We have heard some really blatantly false rumors being spread in different areas on social media,” Sgt. Burr said. “People are scared, understandably so already. So, spreading information that is absolutely false makes it even more frightening and it can be dangerous for the public.”
While APD does not have a suspect, they are confident with more video and information, they can solve this case. Now, they are asking anyone who might know something about these shootings to come forward.
“If you know something about any of these that happened and you’re not telling somebody, then like, how can you say you’re a part of this community and not be helping Miss Ashley or any of these other four victims?” Sgt. Burr asked. “I know in three of the cases, they weren’t hurt, but that doesn’t matter. They’re not any less scared.”
She continued, “If you’re a part of this community, be a part of this community and step up and do your part, even if it’s anonymously. Step up and do your part and give us the information we need so that we can stop this from happening to anybody else.”