- Associated Press - Monday, June 22, 2015

DETROIT (AP) - Police are decrying gun violence in Detroit after two dozen shootings over the weekend, including gunfire at a neighborhood barbecue that killed one person and injured 11, and two incidents in an entertainment district considered one of the safest areas of the city.

The shootings occurred during one of Detroit’s busiest weekends, just before a popular fireworks show that was expected to draw hundreds of thousands of people to the city’s riverfront.

“Certainly 24 shootings - non-fatal mostly - over the weekend is too many,” Police Chief James Craig told reporters as dozens of officers mustered ahead of their assignments for Monday night’s fireworks over the Detroit River.

As of Monday, no arrests had been made in two separate shootings in downtown’s Greektown, home to many restaurants and one of the city’s three casinos.

One man was found slain in an alley shortly before midnight Monday. Another was found wounded nearby. Two guns also were found, and investigators believe a fight may have led to that shooting. It was the second in Greektown, seen as one of Detroit’s safest areas. A woman was hospitalized after being shot twice Saturday night.

“Whether it’s a shooting in Greektown or a shooting in an eastside, southwest, westside neighborhood, it’s just too much,” Craig said. “We shouldn’t have to deal with the issue of young people bringing guns into downtown or into any place in the city.”

Police officials are to meet Tuesday with residents to discuss the shootings that occurred at a neighborhood celebration Saturday. One man was killed and 11 were wounded at the barbecue attended by about 300 people.

The man who died, Malik Jones, 19, was believed to be the target of two gunmen who fired into the crowd. Jones had been shot and wounded recently and Saturday’s exchange of gunfire was believed to be retaliatory.

Craig has said residents have been reluctant to cooperate with police, with witnesses apparently concerned that they may put themselves at risk.

The police department is “looking for solutions, certainly encouraging the public to step up so that we can avoid these things in the future,” Craig said.

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